Green Party MP Kevin Hague said he was deeply disappointed to have lost the co-leadership contest by just 13 votes at the party's annual meeting in Auckland today.
He said he was upset, as he really wanted the role, but that he respected the decision made by party members and remained committed to the Greens.
Mr Shaw said some in the party would be disappointed with the result, but he was committed to earning their respect over the coming years.
But the regressive Green influence in the party has been waning. First came the Green Party List demotion of the hard left Waiheke MP Denise Roche, followed by the resignation of ex-Communist Russell Norman with his Stansfield/Roche connections. Now former islander Kevin Hague has failed to take the top position the regressive Waiheke Greens were hoping for to further their ambitions for power. While this is a blow and a defeat they are already moving to Plan B.
For a short while the wealthy backers will be licking their wounds and local Green Party List MP hopefuls, Shirin Brown and the eco-terrorist Michael Tavares, wondering where their future lies. If the election of Shaw means a swing towards the centre, as his media PR machine suggests, then there will be no room for Tavares whose recent eco-terrorist tactics in West Auckland puts him firmly in the loony left camp of regressive Greens rejected by the Party.
What’s next for the regressive faction? They must have seen the writing on the wall because Plan B is well and truly underway. This means turning Waiheke into a Green Republic if the parliamentary trough runs dry. The plot has Waiheke de-amalgamating from Auckland Council and Roche and her partner John Stansfield becoming the future rulers of their new fiefdom. They plan establishing a long lasting regressive Green Party dynasty alongside current local board members as they groom their children to take over when they retire.
Roche will be Chair of the newly formed Waiheke Republic Council, while her partner will be the Chief Executive Officer. They will vote themselves big ratepayer funded salaries to bridge the gap left by the loss of their fat taxpayer funded troughs. Their campaign managers will all be awarded Council jobs for life at ratepayer expense. Their property developer backers will be granted the right to build new ‘eco’ villages and make lots of money.
The campaign is well funded, as evidenced by the letterbox drop of their propaganda sheet ‘Our Waiheke’, with their PR machine in full swing pulling the wool over the eyes of gullible islanders with promises of rates reductions, in the same way Len Brown got himself elected as Mayor of Auckland with his promise of a 2.6% rates rise. Yeah right!