Marama Davidson

Last updated

Marama Davidson

Marama Davidson 2019.jpg
Davidson in 2019
3rd Female co-leader of the Green Party
Assumed office
8 April 2018
Co-leaderwith James Shaw
Preceded by Metiria Turei
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Green party list
Assumed office
4 November 2015
Preceded by Russel Norman
Personal details
Marama Mere-Ana Paratene

Auckland, New Zealand
Political party Green
Relations Rawiri Paratene (father)
Website Green Party profile

Marama Mere-Ana Davidson [1] (née Paratene) is a New Zealand politician who entered New Zealand parliament in 2015 as a representative of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand and is also the female co-leader of the Green Party.


Early life and education

Davidson was born in Auckland and is of Ngāti Porou, Te Rarawa, and Ngāpuhi descent. [2] Her father is the actor Rawiri Paratene. Both her parents were Māori language campaigners in the 1970s. [3] During her youth, the family moved a lot; Davidson started school in Wellington, but subsequently lived in Dunedin and Christchurch. At age nine, her family moved to Whirinaki in the Hokianga, where she spent the rest of her childhood. She started her degree in Hamilton and finished it in Auckland, from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. [2] [4] She also holds a Graduate Diploma in International Diplomacy for Indigenous Studies through Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. [2]

Professional career and community engagement

Davidson worked for the Human Rights Commission from 2003 to 2012. [5] She has worked part-time for Breastfeeding New Zealand. [6] She was a 'Think Tank Member' for the Owen Glenn Inquiry on Child Abuse and Domestic Violence. [7] She is a founding member of Te Wharepora Hou Māori Women's Collective. [5]

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
20152017 51st List 15 Green
2017 present 52nd List2 Green

Fifth National Government, 2013–2017

Davidson is an environmentalist and human rights advocate. [3] [8] In June 2013 she stood for the Greens in the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election, where she came fourth with 11.15% of the vote. [3] [9]

At the 2014 election she stood in the Tāmaki Makaurau electorate. [10] She was ranked 15th on the Greens party list and entered parliament in 2015 with the resignation of Russel Norman.

Davidson has called for liberalisation of abortion law, in addition to better sex education, improved access to contraception, and more support for adoption, having had an abortion as a teenager. [11]

In October 2016, Davidson took part in the Women's Boat to Gaza, which intended to highlight the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. Other passengers aboard included the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire and retired US Army colonel Ann Wright. On 5 October, the Women's Peace Flotilla's ship Zaytouna Oliva was intercepted by the Israeli Navy. In response to the boarding of the Women's Peace Flotilla, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei called on the Israeli authorities to release Davidson and other activists, and to end the blockade of Gaza. [12] [13]

During the 2017 general election, Davidson was ranked second in the Green Party's final candidate list in April 2017. [14] Following the release of the full election results on 7 October, Davidson was reinstated as a list Member of Parliament. [15] The Green Party won 6.3 percent of the votes and eight seats. [16]

Sixth Labour Government, 2017–present

MP Marama Davidson at Matai Ara Nui Marae Marama Davidson's marae and whanau celebrates her appointment of co-leader in 2018.jpg
MP Marama Davidson at Matai Ara Nui Marae

Following the resignation of Metiria Turei as co-leader of the Green Party in 2017, Davidson was poised as a possible contender for the co-leadership. [17] On 4 February 2018, Davidson officially announced her candidacy for co-leader, [18] and on 8 April won the female co-leadership election, defeating fellow MP Julie Anne Genter who also contested the position. [19] After summing the co-leadership of the Greens, Marama stated that the Greens' responsibility was to push the Labour-led coalition government in a progressive direction including the abolition of letting fees on rental homes. [20]

On 8 July 2018, Davidson reported that she had received rape and death threats against her and her children on social media after tweeting support for the Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff's decision to ban two Canadian far right speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux from Auckland Council facilities as part of a speaking tour in August 2018. [21] [22]

In response to this, Davidson stated during an anti-racism rally, attended by families with children, that New Zealand needs to reclaim the word "cunt". [23]

Since 25 March 2020, Davidson has been a member of the Epidemic Response Committee, a select committee that considers the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. [24]

Personal life and family

Marama Davidson is married to Paul Davidson, with whom she has six children; their last child was born in 2008. [25] [26] [27] Davidson is a qualified aerobics instructor and used to teach part-time classes at Les Mills International in order to support her children and university studies. [20]

In late June 2018, Davidson disclosed that she had been sexually abused as an eight-year-old child by a distant relative during a Speaking Secrets podcast, a co-production by The New Zealand Herald and Newstalk ZB. [28] [29] During the New Zealand Parliament's formal apology to homosexual men convicted of consensual acts before the passage of the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986, Davidson acknowledged that her uncle had assaulted a gay man after reacting badly to his proposition. Her uncle was subsequently convicted of manslaughter and imprisoned when the victim fell into Wellington Harbour and drowned. Davidson apologised on behalf of her late uncle to the LBGT community in New Zealand. [30]

Political views

Donald Trump

On 5 June 2020, Davidson and fellow Greens Co-Leader James Shaw described United States President Donald Trump as a racist in response to a question fielded by press gallery journalists following the protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd in late May 2020. [31]

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  1. "Declaration by Electoral Commission That Marama Mere-Ana Davidson is Elected a Member of Parliament". 2 November 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 "Marama Davidson". Māori Television . Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 Bennett, Adam (26 May 2013). "Greens select child abuse campaigner for Ikaroa-Rawhiti". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  4. "Marama's story". Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand . Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  5. 1 2 "About Marama Davidson". Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand . Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  6. "A Mum Did This – Marama Davidson". Mums on Top. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  7. Harvey, Sarah; Kilgallon, Steve (3 July 2013). "Davidson to stay with Glenn inquiry". . Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  8. "Marama Davidson selected as Green Party candidate for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti" (Press release). Green Party. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  9. "Results of the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election". Electoral Commission . Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  10. de Graaf, Peter (23 August 2014). "Candidates urged to keep promises". The Northern Advocate . Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  11. Davidson, Marama (2 November 2014). "Marama Davidson: For Lent, give up judgment". Herald on Sunday . Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  12. Sachdeva, Sam (6 October 2015). "Green MP Marama Davidson detained in Israel, PM John Key says it's a 'less-than-perfect look'". Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  13. Davidson, Isaac (7 October 2016). "Green Party MP Marama Davidson heading home after release from Israeli detention centre". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  14. "Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand List 2017". Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand . Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  15. "2017 General Election list of successful candidates" (PDF). Electoral Commission . Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  16. "New Zealand 2017 General Election – Official Results". Electoral Commission . Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  17. "Political Roundup: Why Marama Davidson is likely to become the new Green Party co-leader". The New Zealand Herald . 2 February 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  18. Bracewell-Worrall, Anna (4 February 2018). "Greens co-leadership race: Marama Davidson first off the blocks". Newshub . Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  19. "Marama Davidson elected new Greens co-leader". Newshub. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  20. 1 2 Braae, Alex (9 April 2018). "Marama Davidson: If I'm going to be labelled radical, I'm fine with that". The Spinoff . Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  21. Foxcroft, Debrin (8 July 2018). "Greens co-leader Marama Davidson receives violent threats on social media". . Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  22. "Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson receives death threats". Newshub. 8 July 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  23. "Green co-leader Marama Davidson says New Zealand must reclaim the 'C-word'". 7 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  24. "Epidemic response". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  25. "Topic: Teina Davidson: 3 years old". Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa . Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  26. "We talk to Marama Davidson about Home Birth". Home Birth Aotearoa. June 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  27. "Marama Davidson says speaking out about suffering sexual abuse as a child is allowing other victims 'to not feel alone'". 1 News. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  28. "Marama Davidson opens up on sexual abuse". Newstalk ZB. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  29. Campbell, Georgina (27 June 2018). "Speaking Secrets: Marama Davidson's painful memory of sexual abuse". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  30. "Green MP Marama Davidson speaks of the harrowing impact of homophobia on family". The New Zealand Herald . 6 July 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  31. Roy, Eleanor (5 June 2020). "New Zealand minister says yes – Trump is racist amid George Floyd protests". The Guardian . Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Metiria Turei
Female co-leader of the Green Party
Served alongside: James Shaw