Bradford's replacement 'very excited'

BY SHARON LUNDY
Last updated 12:17 25/09/2009

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The man replacing outgoing Green MP Sue Bradford says he would have preferred to sit alongside her in Parliament, but respects her decision to go.

Ms Bradford recently lost a contest for the party's co-leadership and today announced she was leaving Parliament.

Her decision, effective from October 30, was prompted by the leadership contest which she lost to Metiria Turei, after Jeanette Fitzsimons stood down, she said.

She will be replaced by 54-year-old Aucklander and friend David Clendon.

"I got a little bit of a heads-up on Tuesday this week, so only a couple of days before it went public," Mr Clendon said.

Ms Bradford's resignation was "pretty much out of the blue" but Mr Clendon said he had known how much his friend wanted the leadership.

"She wanted that for all the right reasons. It was very much about she had a plan and an idea where the Green Party could go," he said.

"My preference would have been to be sitting alongside Sue in Parliament but clearly, given that she's made the decision to move on, I won't be.

"I'm really pleased for her in the sense that she's worked incredibly hard for 10 years and I can certainly appreciate she's ready for a break and then to go back into grassroots work."

Mr Clendon has been business adviser with the Sustainable Business Network since June 1997 and before that was an academic for 15 years, including being a lecturer in politics at Auckland University.

Portfolio "bidding" would start over the next few weeks and Mr Clendon said he would like to stay engaged with the sustainable business sector, as well as education.

"I do have a range of experience both as an academic and in the business world and in all sorts of community and environmental groups," he said.

Mr Clendon's partner, Lindis, has a PR and communications business in Auckland and will stay there while Mr Clendon commutes to Parliament three days a week.

He would share an Auckland electorate office with fellow Green MP Keith Locke.

"I'm very excited. It is unexpected, but it's something I've wanted for a long time," he said.

"I think it's a good time to be coming in.

"Clearly the party is evolving. We've been in Parliament for 10 years now, and I'll be able to bring in some new energy, some new ideas, some new networks, some new relationships.""

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- NZPA

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