Sue Bradford spoke out about her resignation from the Green Party on National Radio's Focus On Politics on 9 October

This interview completely escaped me but Bryce Edwards has helpfully highlighted it on his blog.

It confirms what some of us knew already - Bradford resigned from the Green Party because she was unhappy with the conservative direction that the party was taking.

She agreed with National radio interviewer Julian Robbins that the party had lost its 'radical edge'. Said Bradford:

We did have a real radical cutting edge [in 1999]… I think that we have, to some extent we have begun to lose a little bit of that differentiation with the other parties in Parliament - in terms of being a little less willing to take risks; a little less willing to be radical and “out there”; and the sense that too many political parties – including perhaps our own – are focused on winning the middle ground voters and not seeing the voters out to the sides – in our case, out to the left, and to the environmental left, as being as important as the voters that are in the middle and to the right.

Bradford reveals that, during her campaign to succeed the outgoing co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, she argued that the party had to 'become more risk-taking', and that it had to 're-capture that radical edge.' This was an implicit criticism of co-leader Russel Norman's conservative strategy.

In fact, in another implied criticism of Norman, she argues that the Green Party has failed to fulfil its electoral potential because it has been too concerned about appealing to the 'centre ground' of the New Zealand electorate.

Some pro-Labour Party commentators on The Standard and elsewhere have argued Sue Bradford's resignation has moved her closer to Labour.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Bradford's rejection of conservative and centrist politics clearly shows that while she may presently have little in common with Russel Norman's Green Party she has even less in common with Phil Goff's Labour Party.


  1. I couldn't agree more with your analyis.

    I actually think the centrist move is a combination of age and marketing speak.

    As many of the Green constituency get older they get more stuck in their ways and lose some of that useful edge.
    The marketers are doing the party a huge diservice looking to "take market" from other parties

    I reckon the Greens are missing a huge potential support base. Youngsters who don't vote. These people see no reason to vote and the Greens could easily appeal to their natural tendency to look for something "different". If the Greens could encourage these youngsters to make the party their own they could pull a huge vote. But first the old 60 year old hippies who don't like dance music would have to step aside and let the kids be publicly loud and radical.


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