Tuiono rules himself out of Greens leadership contest

By Kelvin McDonald
Photo / File

Teanau Tuiono (Te Uriroroi, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Takoto) will not throw his pōtae in the ring to lead the Green Party with fellow Māori MP and current co-leader Marama Davidson.

Recently, Tuiono told Te Ao it was for members to decide whether James Shaw should step down.

“Ia te tau ka pērā ngā amuamu me ngā kōhimuhimu, kaore he paku aha ki a au. Ko te mea nui kia kaha tātou ki te whai i te rangatiratanga o roto”

“Every year we see the gripes and whispers. I don’t take too much from that. The main thing is we need to be strong in our pursuit striving toward democracy within our party."

However, during the week some media reported that Tuiono appeared to leave open whether he would challenge Shaw for the leadership.

"I'm not ruling anything in, I'm not ruling anything out, I'm just kind of giving it a think and maybe you guys will stop chasing me around the hallways," he told reporters on Wednesday.

By Saturday, however, he had removed any doubt. "I am not going to run," Tuiono wrote on Facebook.

"Listening is an important part of leadership and I believe in hearing people out and considering things in good faith. I am not going to change that just because the media wants a story. I want to have time to kōrero - with the people I love and respect, with my Green whānau, and everyone else in between," Tuiono said.

"Ever since the press release on Saturday confirming the result, the media has been chasing this story along a linear path, thinking it traverses through the present, and continues into the future. But that’s not how this works. Stories don’t follow a straight line. People, land, and events, we’re dynamic and fluid, not static and fixed. The past, present, and future are inextricably intertwined and we need to understand that."

Tuiono then proceeded to clarify his position.

"Robust discussions about leadership and the direction of the Party are important parts of a co-leadership debate; however on balance after listening to members I don't think my participation in a co-leadership contest will help move our Party forward," he said.

"So let's just get this out of the way right now: I am not going to run for the co-leadership of the Green Party."