Sustainable New Zealand Party

Last updated

Sustainable New Zealand Party
Leader Vernon Tava
FoundedAugust 2019 (2019-08)
Headquarters5/66 Emily Pl,
Auckland 1010
Ideology Green liberalism
Political position Centre
MPs in the House of Representatives
0 / 120

The Sustainable New Zealand Party, also called Sustainable NZ, is a political party in New Zealand. An environmentalist party, it has a focus on water, native species, and sustainable economic growth. [1] It contrasts itself with the larger Green Party by claiming to not be aligned with either side of the political aisle and being prepared to work with either the National Party or the Labour Party. [2]


Waitematā Local Board member Vernon Tava came up with the idea of Sustainable NZ in early 2019 [3] and the party was launched in November 2019. [2] Mainstream media have characterised the party as a "teal" or "blue-green" group, [4] labelling rejected by Tava who insists on seeing Sustainable NZ as a "green-green party". [5]


New Zealand's largest and longest-lasting environmentalist party, the left-wing Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, was founded in 1990 and first entered Parliament in 1996 as part of the Alliance, and later on its own in 1999. [6] The party has been positioned on the left of New Zealand politics throughout its existence. After the 2017 general election, National suggested the idea of a National–Green Party coalition government that would have averted the possibility of New Zealand First in government; the idea was immediately dismissed by Greens leader James Shaw. [7] Consequently, figures within the party such as Vernon Tava departed from the party in an effort to establish an environmental party that could work with either major party and potentially always be in government.

2020 general election

Sustainable NZ applied for registration with the Electoral Commission on 15 November 2019 [8] and was registered on 4 December. [9] In February 2020, the former secretary to the party, Helen Cartwright, declared that she was asked to falsify membership records to get the party registered. Cartwright claimed she had audited the membership fees and found they were 35 short of the 500 required, but that Tava suggested the party edit the party's financial documents to cover the discrepancy. Tava said that the party had acted in full compliance with the Electoral Act. Cartwright says that the party has retained its registration because it ultimately did have enough members. [10]

By February 2020, four months after founding, a small number of members had left the party, including party secretary Helen Cartwright and the party treasurer. [10] [11] Cartwright subsequently formed the Integrity Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. [12]

The party received a broadcasting allocation of $53,840 for the 2020 election. [13]

As of May 2020, the party had not registered in any public polling. [11] By the end of September 2020, it had registered in only one of Colmar-Brunton's polls, receiving 0.1% of support in its mid-September poll. [14]

The party stood 11 list candidates, of which 10 were also electorate candidates. [15] It won 1,880 party votes, 0.1% of the total, [16] and did not enter Parliament.

Election results

House of Representatives

ElectionCandidates nominatedSeats wonVotesVote share %PositionMPs in
2020 1011014690.115th
0 / 120

See also

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  1. "Sustainable New Zealand Party to prioritise water, native species, economy". RNZ. 10 November 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  2. 1 2 Henry Cooke (10 November 2019). "Sustainable NZ party launches, promising to be a 'full-time environmental party'". Stuff. Retrieved 16 November 2019. [...] a "full-time" environmental party that could work with both sides of the political spectrum [...].
  3. Thomas Coughlan (13 August 2019). "Vernon Tava ready to launch Sustainable New Zealand political party by end of August'". Stuff. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  4. Katie Fitzgerald (11 February 2019). "Vernon Tava's centrist 'Sustainable New Zealand' Party gets a website". Newshub. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  5. Mike Hosking (11 February 2019). "Vernon Tava rejects blue-green label: 'It's a green-green party'". Newstalk ZB. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  6. Christine Dann. "Greens in Time and Space: The History of The Green Party 1972–1999". Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. Archived from the original on 10 October 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  7. Laura Walters and Vernon Small (3 October 2017). "Talk of a teal deal is speculation, nothing more, says James Shaw". Stuff. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  8. "Application to register Sustainable New Zealand Party and logo". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 15 November 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  9. "Registration of political parties and logos". Electoral Commission. 4 December 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  10. 1 2 Bracewell-Worrall, Anna (23 February 2020). "Sustainable NZ leader Vernon Tava accused of ordering membership records 'doctored'". Newshub. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  11. 1 2 Sachdeva, Sam (21 February 2020). "Resignations, allegations swirl within Sustainable NZ". Newsroom. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  12. "The Integrity Party Of Aotearoa New Zealand". Scoop. 20 May 2020. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  13. "About the broadcasting allocation - 2020 General Election". Electoral Commission. 6 September 2020. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  14. "1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll: 23-27 September 2020" (PDF). Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  15. "Candidates - Sustainable New Zealand Party" . Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  16. "2020 General Election and Referendums - Official Result". Electoral Commission. 7 November 2020. Retrieved 7 November 2020.