Tava used to be a member of the Greens and ran in the male co-leadership election in 2015 (despite not being an MP) and campaigned on moving away from a left-wing party to centrist environmentalist party.
Tava left the Greens in 2017, stating that he had joined what he thought was an environmentalist party, but was actually a socialist party. He later joined the campaign team for National in the East Coast Bays electorate.
If Tava does end up running for National, then he’ll almost certainly become an MP, as Northcote is a fairly safe seat for National.
But, the fact that he appears to be a front-runner for the nomination hints at National leader Simon Bridge’s long term plans.
Tava’s environmentalist background and the fact that he is a former Green party member makes a clear political statement from National to the Greens.
Bridges is trying to cosy up to them. Bridges is hoping for a teal deal come 2020. And if Tava becomes an MP, then the teal deal chances of happening increase.
Whether a teal deal is achievable though…. Well, that’s another story.