New Zealand Green Party leader Shaw re-nominates

James Shaw will be re-nominated as leader of the New Zealand Greens this week after his dramatic disqualification by party members at the AGM this weekend.

Mr Shaw, who is also climate change minister in Jacinda Ardern’s Labor-led government, failed to meet the 75 per cent satisfaction threshold among party delegates.

The party’s co-leader since 2015 is a former adviser and is considered by a section of the party’s grassroots to be too moderate.

He had the support of 70 percent of delegates, indicating broad support, but not enough to avoid stirring up his position.

Mr. Shaw acknowledged the shock he felt in the aftermath of the vote, and vowed to consult his party’s room and conduct a sounding before deciding on his political future.

He told Radio New Zealand on Monday morning that he was going to seek a comeback “because I’m not finished”.

“The climate crisis is continuing and we have a lot of work to do as a country there,” he said.

Under party rules, a vote will be held at the end of the week.

The Greens have a co-leadership model, in which Mr. Shaw’s co-leader, Marama Davidson, goes unchallenged at the AGM and continues.

It remains to be seen whether anyone else from the 10-member party council, or outside Parliament, will challenge Mr. Shaw.

“I honestly don’t know,” said Mr. Shaw.

Auckland Central MP Chloe Swarbrick, 28, is likely to outperform Shaw – if she chooses to run.

The next-generation political star ousted former minister Nikki Kay and defied Labor in its landslide victory in 2020 to win her voters in a surprise snap election.

“Chloe is an amazing political talent,” he said. “Anyone with any political intelligence can see that, but it’s up to her to make this announcement if she wants to.”

The Greens have two cabinet positions in Ms Ardern’s government despite Labour’s majority in Parliament.

Ms Ardern awarded Minority Party co-leaders ministries after the 2020 election as a nod to their supporting role during her first coalition government, from 2017-2020.

New Zealand’s electoral system makes coalitions the norm, and polls suggest Labor will need the Greens to have any chance of returning to office after the 2023 election.

Ms Ardern said Mr Shaw was “doing a fantastic job” and would remain in the job whether he was captain or not.

“James Shaw as our government’s climate secretary has introduced policy changes that are a world first,” she told TVNZ, citing climate reports and work on pricing emissions from agriculture.

“Do we have a lot of work to do as a nation, as a scientist? Yes, of course.

“Does he often want to go further? Yes. He’s a member of the Green Party. I expect it. But that hasn’t diminished…what he did.”

Mr. Xu said he intended to stay regardless of the leadership role.

“My main concern is to prevent the climate crisis from getting worse. I will find any way to achieve this result,” he said.


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