Russel Norman

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Dr Russel Norman
Russel Norman2.jpg
2nd Male co-leader of the Green Party
Assumed office
Co-leader with Jeanette Fitzsimons, then Metiria Turei
Preceded by Rod Donald
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Green Party List
Assumed office
Personal details
Born Russel William Norman
(1967-06-02) 2 June 1967 (age 47)
Brisbane, Australia
Nationality New Zealand
Political party Green Party
Domestic partner Katya Paquin[1]
Children 3
Occupation Politician
Committees Finance and Expenditure Committee
Website Profile on Green Party website

Russel William Norman (born 2 June 1967) is a New Zealand politician and environmentalist. He is a Member of Parliament and male co-leader of the Green Party alongside Metiria Turei.

Early life[edit]

Norman was born in Brisbane, Australia, and worked a number of unskilled roles after dropping out of medical school. As a student in Queensland, his first ever vote in 1986 was motivated by the desire to oust the Premier of Queensland at the time, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.[2] Whilst living in Australia, Norman was involved with the Democratic Socialist Party for several years,[3] and contested the House of Representatives for the party at the 1990 federal election, placing fifth of five candidates in the seat of Griffith.

Norman moved to New Zealand in 1997, saying this was to observe the red-green Alliance coalition. He wrote his political science PhD thesis on the Alliance, and was active within the party, editing its party newsletter.[3]

Involvement in politics[edit]

In New Zealand Norman became involved in organic farming, and was active in the Auckland branch of the Green Party, helping to set up the Waikehe branch.[4]

Later, he worked as an assistant to Green MPs Sue Kedgley, Nandor Tanczos and Keith Locke.[citation needed] He was a researcher for the party from 2002 to 2004 and was the national campaign manager prior to the 2005 election[4] and the national Party Development Co-ordinator afterwards.[citation needed]

Following the death of Rod Donald, Norman put his name forward as a contender for the male co-leader position. He won the position on 3 June 2006 at the annual meeting, beating Tanczos, David Clendon and former MP Mike Ward in an STV vote by delegates from electorates around the country.[5][4]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008 48th List 10 Green
2008–2011 49th List 2 Green
2011–2014 50th List 2 Green
2014–present 51st List 2 Green

In the 2002 election general election, Norman contested the Rimutaka electorate, where he placed fourth. He was ranked seventeenth on the Green Party list. In the 2005 elections, he did not contest an electorate, but was ranked tenth on the Green Party list. On 27 June 2008 Norman was declared elected to parliament when Tanczos[6] resigned after Ward and Catherine Delahunty, who were above Norman on the party list, agreed to stand aside. In the 2008 general election Norman stood in the Rongotai electorate against senior Labour Cabinet Minister Annette King. He placed third in the electorate, but was second on his party's list, and so was returned to parliament.[7]

Norman stood as the Green Party's candidate for the Mount Albert by-election in 2009, following the resignation of Prime Minister Helen Clark. Norman came third with 12.09% of the vote.[8]

In June 2010, Norman claimed he was assaulted by Chinese security staff when he protested against a visiting Chinese delegation of the Vice President Xi Jinping with a Tibetan snow lion flag. Norman lodged a complaint of assault with the New Zealand Police and the Speaker of the House, but police did not find enough evidence to substantiate his claims.[9]

In January 2015, shortly after the birth of his third child, Norman announced he would standing down as Co-leader of the Green Party. However, he has said he will remain a Green MP for the foreseeable future.[10] He has named what he sees as his key political victories as co-leader as: forcing the Government to reverse its decision to allow mining on Schedule 4 conservation land, and leading a campaign and referendum against National's asset sales programme.[4]

Private life[edit]

As of 2011 Norman and his partner, Katya Paquin (sister of Anna Paquin), live with their two sons and a daughter in Hataitai.[11][12][10]

In 2012 when Norman and David Shearer shaved their heads for a cancer appeal, he revealed that he had had a melanoma mole removed from his forearm at age 15, leaving a 10 cm scar.[13]


  1. ^ Hartevelt, John (7 June 2010). "Red is dead as guard changes". The Dominion Post. Archived from the original on 14 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Cherie Howie (2014-06-29). "Leaders' first trip to ballot box". New Zealand Herald. 
  3. ^ a b "Truly tiresome Trev". Frog Blog. 2 February 2006. Archived from the original on 4 February 2006. 
  4. ^ a b c d McCulloch, Craig (30 January 2015). "Profile: Russel Norman". Radio New Zealand News. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Green Co-Leader announced". Green Party. 3 June 2006. Retrieved 5 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Greens co-leader now an MP". The Dominion Post. 27 June 2008. Archived from the original on 29 June 2008. 
  7. ^ "Rongotai results 2008". 
  8. ^ "Official Count Results – Mt Albert". 24 June 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Fox, Michael; Hartevelt, John; Field, Michael (18 June 2010). "MP's Tibet protest flag removed". Fairfax Media NZ Ltd. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Green Party co-leader Russel Norman resigns". 30 January 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Hubbard, Anthony (16 October 2011). "'Being poor didn't mean we were bad'". Sunday Star Times. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  12. ^ Kilgallon, Steve (24 August 2014). "Greens' Russel Norman - a reluctant leader". The Sunday Star Times. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Chapman, Kate (26 March 2012). "Norman reveals teenage cancer scare". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Rod Donald
Male co-leader of the Green Party