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Barry Soper: Bring on Darleen Tana's replacement

Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 10 Jul 2024, 6:00pm

Barry Soper: Bring on Darleen Tana's replacement

Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 10 Jul 2024, 6:00pm

Darleen Tana was an ideal candidate for The Greens, she was an environmental scientist with a degree in chemical technology, she won a Rotary Foundation to study, getting an MBA and of course was involved in an electric bike business, right up there with pedal powered party's ideology.

The party's co leader, Marama Davidson, was certainly impressed, standing aside from an electorate she herself couldn't win in Tāmaki Makaurau to let Tana have a crack.

Unfortunately for her, the Maori Party candidate allegedly propped up with some dodgy electoral practices which are under investigation, won the seat over longtime Labour MP Peeni Henare.

Tana won fewer than three thousand Green votes, or a third fewer than each of the two that beat her. She came in a poor third but was high enough of the Green Party list to give her a job in Parliament.

Presumably unknown to the Greens, Tana's hubby's bike shop was being accused of migrant exploitation with a number of complaints being made from underpaid workers.

That turned the Greens red with fury.

They ordered a taxpayer funded investigation by a lawyer and Tana was suspended, ultimately spending more time away from Parliament on full pay than she had actually been in the place .

The investigation's report is being kept under wraps - but if you listen to the Greens' sole leader at the moment, Chloe Swarbrick, it was damning enough for all the 14 Green MPS , excluding Tana of course, to ask her to resign.

Tana's not budging - or so we were led to believe.

When you defiantly sit on the findings of a report, speculation becomes rife and leaks abound as they have done here.

They vary from Tana being innocent of migrant exploitation to her being all over it. In her initial statement, she claims it was a set-up, her colleagues had decided to get rid of her even before she put her case to them last weekend.

The Greens are now in an ideological cesspit.

They can get rid of her alright by using the so called waka-jumping legislation, which means if 75 percent of a party's caucus wants a member to resign from Parliament, then she's gone after the involvement of the Speaker.

Trouble is, the Greens hate the law, even though they originally jumped from the Alliance waka to allow them to stand under their own flag.

The argument here is simple enough.

Darlene Tana was elected to Parliament on the Green ticket, she couldn't win a seat, but she came in on the list. She's there purely and simply because enough voters went out and voted Green.

She wasn't voted in as an independent, which she currently is, because she's shown she couldn't win a seat in her own right.

And just in case she needs reminding, we have a Mixed Member Proportional voting system, which means we have a set number of constituent MPs can win their seat for their party and the list MPs who are there at the behest of their party, depending on how many party votes they can attract.

If your party doesn't want you, move on and let the party bring in the next person on the list which maintains the proportion of the vote the punter opted for.


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