The provisional election results and gender representation are:
- National: 27.8% women
- Labour: 37.5%
- Green: 53.8% (hopefully down to 50% on specials)
- NZ First: 18.8%
- Māori: 50%
- And obviously Act and United Future bring in two men.
This all adds up to fewer women in Parliament, with just over 32%, which may well reduce on specials. 33% is the threshold at which, while far from equality, a minority gender is able to be seen as a person rather than in reference to the dominant group.
Further it is worth noting that in this new government the top five positions are filled by men.
I commented on this photo from after the last election:
This year we get a different angle and they’ve swapped seats:
“Prime Minister John Key meeting with his senior ministers, from left, Gerry Brownlee, Bill English, Steven Joyce and Murray McCully, in his Parnell house. Photo / Mark Mitchell”
If this is based on seniority why are Judith Collins, Hekia Parata or Paula Bennett not in this photo – all of them are more senior than Murray McCully.
Last term we saw valuable, hard fought for protections for the safety of women eroded, we saw women’s representation on State-appointed boards decline and we saw the National Government intervene in the courts against women arguing for pay equity. Representation matters.
The Greens will keep fighting for that radical notion of equality and good decision making.