Good news, everyone!

It’s not great news to see Russel Norman leaving Parliament, though he’s going to a pretty awesome new gig:

Former Green Party co-leader Russel Norman will resign as an MP and from the Green Party to head Greenpeace New Zealand.

Dr Norman, who stepped down from the co-leader position in May and was replaced by James Shaw, will leave Parliament next month.

In November he will become Greenpeace New Zealand’s executive director, taking over from Bunny McDiarmid, who has been in the role for 10 years.

But the great news is he’ll be replaced by the next candidate on the Greens list, the amazing, staunch, lovely Marama Davidson.

I can only express my feelings via meme.

marama the rock

Andrea Vance: five important unanswered questions

Andrea Vance has posted five unanswered questions from the Beehive – click through for her answers:

1. When is an asset sale not an asset sale? 

2. They won’t be selling them off cheaply to developers, right?

3. Does a politician ever really step down for family reasons?

4. Why was the usually loquacious Key acting so weird on Sabin?

5. Anyway, who’s going to be the new Greens co-leader?

The state housing firesale and the sudden (but apparently not at all unexpected) resignation of Mike Sabin must be major weak spots for the government as the 2015 political year cranks up. Key hasn’t handled the latter at all well, but until any more details of Sabin’s situation come to light it’s difficult to say just how damaging it’s going to be.

I’m very interested to see how the Greens handle their leadership challenge, having been quite involved in Labour’s last year. Full respect to Norman for putting his family first and stepping down at the very beginning of the political term – there’s never an ideal time for a leader, even a co-leader, to go, and the right are always going to try to spin a senior pollie’s resignation as part of some deeper organisational malaise. I’m sure the Greens will ignore the haters and get on with the democratic process, and who ends up winning could have a big impact on the wider left.