Marama Davidson says National is haunted by 'ghost of Don Brash'

Source: 1News

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson has hit out at National, whose "lazy and dangerous politics" fail to uplift Aotearoa as they continue to be haunted by the "ghost of Don Brash".

Davidson reaffirmed to a crowd of party faithful at the Greens' annual general meeting this afternoon that the party would continue to work towards "an Aotearoa where all tamariki can grow up safe and loved by their whānau, with everything they need to be healthy and nurtured".

"I want to see an Aotearoa that truly values te ao Māori knowledge and leadership, and embraces it as part of the enduring solutions that we all deserve. I want to see an Aotearoa that recognises we are better when we collectively support one another."

The Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence Minister called for an all of Government and community-wide response to prevent family and sexual violence and to find "enduring solutions" by "engaging with people at the frontlines of harm".

A hui was launched in May informing the community of the creation of a national strategy and action plan for the prevention of family and sexual violence.

"To even get this far, we had to firstly acknowledge the damage and violence that has been done to tangata whenua by the Crown," she said. 

Davidson said while family and sexual violence "happens across every community", "some people have more privilege and resource to be able to get away with and hide their violence more than others".

She was unapologetic as she told those in attendance that would "continue to meet with a wide range of people and communities", including "victims of violence and people who use violence and sometimes, they have been both".

"When I meet with women, there is common agreement: women all want healthy, violence-free lives for their whole families and their children, and it is my job to meet with them about how we can achieve that vision," she said.

"That includes meeting with women associated with gangs, and I will never, ever apologise for going to where the solutions are.

"I am proud that as a Green minister, I can do what is right and not just what is popular."

It comes after Davidson came under fire after attending and speaking at a Mongrel Mob meeting in May.

Davidson said it is "in working with people, not stomping on people, that the solutions lie".

She added that it was also part of her job as a Green minister to "call out dangerous, racist and classist political narratives from other political parties".

"Those politicians who deliberately ignore the systemic causes of crime and violence do not make communities safer or uplift the mana of our communities. Their dehumanising narratives have no place in Aotearoa."

Davidson said while "everyone we have engaged with - from the Government, from the sector, victim advocates, victims and perpetrators and the loads of research available - everyone knows the harmful stigmatisation must stop," the "ghost of Don Brash is haunting the National Party".

She labelled it "lazy and dangerous politics" from the opposition which does not have "answers or solutions to the big issues in Aotearoa".

The minister instead accused the party of "seeking to divide our communities", citing the party's decision to vote against the banning of conversion therapy during its first reading in Parliament this week "even though they say they don't support conversion therapy".

"They use lazy and dangerous politics to get some attention, putting politics ahead of people's lives. That is the latest step in desperate attempts from the National Party that will make things worse in our communities, not better.

"It is abhorrent. We will not let it stand. We are here to push back against that type of rubbish that threatens our communities who have been smeared for generations by people who hold power selfishly."