2020 election: Jack McDonald not standing for Greens in Te Tai Hauāuru

By Heta Gardiner

Jack McDonald, perhaps the Greens Party’s most high profile Māori candidate after co-leader Marama Davidson, will not stand for the party in the 2020 election, citing the party’s shift to the centre under the leadership of James Shaw as a contributing factor in his decision.

A Green Party member since he was 16, the descendant of Te Ātiawa and Te Whakatōhea impressed as a first-time candidate at the age of just 18.  He has since stood twice for the Greens in Te Tai Hauāuru. 

McDonald was number 13 on the Green Party list in the 2017 election, a position that looked likely to land him a seat in parliament with the party polling comfortably in the double figures when the list was announced.  However the party ended with just 6.3% of the party vote, landing them eight MP’s.

McDonald says he was staying on as a member of the Green Party, but didn’t want to stand as a candidate or continue on as the party’s co-convenor.

“As an indigenous ecosocialist, the last few years have been tough; the 2017 campaign, Metiria's resignation and the continued centrist drift of the Party’s direction under James Shaw’s co-leadership,” said McDonald in a Facebook post.

He also appeared to imply the party wasn’t moving fast enough in their action against climate change, “When the IPCC says we have 12 years to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’, we simply don’t have time for centrism, moderation or fiscal austerity.  We live in a global era of radical progressive change, and in Aotearoa the Greens should be leading that change.”