Green Co-Leader Dr Russel Norman today welcomed Winston Peters’ decision to join the Green Party, saying it will help the Greens to broaden their voter support base.
“Over four percent of voters at the last election voted for New Zealand First,” Dr Norman said. “I am confident that a large proportion of those voters will now give their support to the Greens. It is an unexpected and very real bonus for us, and may finally give us the chance to break through 10%.
“The Greens have never managed to appeal to the redneck vote,” said Dr Norman. “David Garrett has proven with ACT just how electorally valuable having a drunken bigot among the senior ranks of a political party can be. Winston will now be able to perform a similar role for us.”
The Greens are also considering changing their Constitution so Peters can succeed Jeanette Fitzsimons as Co-Leader when she steps down at the Party’s Annual General Meeting on Queen’s Birthday weekend.
“Having two male Co-Leaders would help dispel the perception that we are too pro-feminist. We’re never going to get the blokes’ votes with that image,” Dr Norman said.
“Of course Winston would be Co-Leader outside Parliament like I was when I was first elected. But he has immense expertise in fundraising and managing electoral donations and already has a strong relationship with the media, so working as Co-Leader outside Parliament should be easier for him than it was for me.”