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Chloe Swarbrick will become the Green Party's co-leader upon James Shaw's departure

Photo/ Green Party


Green Party '100%' backing bill that would restore NZ citizenship for Samoans

Green Party co-leader Chloe Swarbrick on how her party is seeking to undo historical wrongdoings as an example to other political parties.

Alakihihifo Vailala
22 March 2024, 1:37pm
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Green Party co-leader says her party is “100%” backing a bill that could reinstate New Zealand citizenship for a section of the Samoan community.

After winning the party’s co-leadership race earlier this month, MP for Auckland Central, Chloe Swarbrick says supporting the bill goes to the core of her party’s commitment to justice.

“It’s going to require us to get some votes, not only from our mates in Labour and Te Pāti Māori but, we’re also going to need some of the coalition partners to put their money where their mouth is when they say that they want to see representation of different communities but also restoring historical wrongs.”

Green MP, Teanau Tuiono’s member’s bill, Restoring Citizenship Removed by Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982 was picked from the Biscuit Tin in August last year.

The bill aims to provide New Zealand citizenship for a group of people born in Western Samoa whose citizenship was removed by the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act passed in 1982.

The bill is due to have its first reading in the coming weeks, but Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has made it clear that his party won’t be supporting it due to concerns over mass migration from the Pacific.


Swarbrick encourages people to write to their local MPs to encourage the bill to be passed in the House.

“Particularly if they are from the parties of National, New Zealand First and Act. But also remind our mates in Labour that this is what justice looks like.”

With what many have called a tough year for the party, given the passing of Fa’anānā Efeso Collins, Golriz Ghahraman’s shoplifting charges and most recently, claims of Green MP Darleen Tana participating in migrant exploitation, Swarbrick says the recent allegations have cause deep concerns.

“We have long campaigned on addressing and spotlighting migrant exploitation and putting laws and policies to undo that. So this cuts to the core of who we are and we take it seriously.

“As soon as it was found out that there may have been some prior knowledge of these allegations, Darlene Tana accepted to go on suspension.

“We’ve been straight up about what we’ve known and we’ve acted accordingly with the severity and the swiftness needed."

With less than a month after being confirmed as the Green Party’s next co-leader, Swarbrick says she sees her role as a reminder to the public of their power and that politicians work for them.

“The fact is that governments are temporary and that can’t be emphasised enough.

“So where we see our power coming from is ultimately from the people.

“The only thing that has ever changed our world for the better is mass movements of regular people taking back that power for themselves and holding politicians accountable."