Sue Bradford exits Parliament, returns to 'grass roots'
Sue Bradford is exiting Parliament and returning to “grassroots” politics after failing to win Green Party leadership in a co-leader contest earlier this year.
In an announcement this morning, Ms Bradford, 57, said the party’s decision was clear and democratic, but personally disappointing. She said she was ready for a change after a decade in the House.
The four-term MP and leader of the anti-smacking legislation said the change was effective from October 30.
Aucklander and sustainable business advisory Dave Clendon is the party’s new MP, of Ngapuhi/Te Roroa and Pakeha descent.
“The Green Party has been in the House for ten years now and so new faces and new energy are to be expected,” he said. “Importantly, all of our MPs are committed to the same values, as in any established political party.”
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said Ms Bradford was a very experienced and successful MP and the party would like her to continue but respected her decision to step down.
Co-leader Metiria Turei said Ms Bradford had been a champion of Green social justice policy. “Sue has been strong and determined in representing the Green Party’s commitment to speak for the underrepresented and the most vulnerable.”
Ms Bradford said she would remain a member and supporter of the Green Party, along with staying active in community groups and unions.
“I’ll always be politically active and Parliament is just one vehicle for political change. I’ll be going back to the grassroots.”
She said it was an honour to have provided a voice in Parliament for communities without representation, including children and young people, low-income workers and the unemployed.
Three of Ms Bradford’s Members’ Bills passed into law in the last Parliament, including lifting the youth minimum wage, extending the length of time some mothers can keep their babies with them in prison and changing s59 of the Crimes Act so children could receive the same legal protection from assault as adults.
“I’ve also been privileged, through Green Party budget bids, to secure support for the Community & Voluntary sector, for example, securing substantial extra funding for the Community Organisations Grants Scheme (COGS) and initiating the Community Internship Programme,” she said.