“Sue is a very experienced and very successful MP and we’d like her to continue,” Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said, “but we also respect her decision to step down.”
Ms Bradford said her decision, effective October 30, was prompted by the Green Party’s co-leader contest earlier this year: “The Party made a clear and democratic decision, but of course it was personally disappointing and I’m ready for a change.”
The four-term MP said she would remain active with 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.”
The 57-year-old Aucklander said it had been an honour to provide a voice in Parliament for communities that were often without representation, including children and young people, low-income workers and the unemployed.
Green Party 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.”
The Green Party’s new MP will be Aucklander Dave Clendon, a sustainable business advisor who is of Ngapuhi/Te Roroa and Pakeha heritage. “The Green Party has been in the House for ten years now and so new faces and new energy are to be expected,” noted Dr Norman. “Importantly, all of our MPs are committed to the same values, as in any established political party.”
Ms Bradford had the unique distinction of seeing three Members’ Bills passed into law in the last Parliament. Respectively, they lifted the youth minimum wage to adult rates, extended the length of time some mothers in prison can keep their babies with them, and amended s59 of the Crimes Act so that children 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,” Ms Bradford said.