When Russel first announced he wasn't intending to stand again, I told a lot of people that I probably wouldn't stand to replace him. I'm new to Parliament and it was clear that some of my most senior and experienced colleagues were going to put themselves forward.
Since then, a number of members have been in touch and encouraged me to reconsider. They were looking for someone who can substantially increase the Green vote. Although more people voted Green in 2014 than ever before, we were aiming higher - and we will be again in 2017.
The Green Party leads the political agenda in policy development. We know this because the major parties keep copying our ideas.
Our values are the values of mainstream New Zealand. We've just seen most of the country react with horror when a property developer wanted to chainsaw an ancient kauri.
The Greens have won people's hearts and minds. We just haven't yet won enough of their votes.
I joined the Greens shortly before the 1990 election, when we won 6.9% of the vote and no seats under FPP. I signed our articles of incorporation. I ran for City Council. It has always frustrated me that we’ve so frequently fallen short of our targets.
In thinking about whether or not to stand, I've had to consider where I feel I can make the greatest difference.
In 2014 I was the Green Party candidate in Wellington Central. I wasn't an MP then, but we won 30% of the vote in this electorate, substantially ahead of Labour.
We worked hard and we ran a modern, well organised campaign. We showed former Labour and National voters that we were a serious party who represented their values, and they trusted us with their votes.
After the 2014 election a political research company determined that 28% of voters considered voting Green last year but did not. People are listening to us. We need to speak to those people and get them to vote for us.
This is what I am committed to - and why I'll be standing for Co-leader, for a strong green future.