James Shaw and the Green Party co-leadership

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, July 24th, 2022 - 189 comments
Categories: activism, greens, james shaw - Tags:

Firstly, James Shaw hasn’t been thrown out as co-leader. The normal democratic processes within the party have been engaged. The nominations for leadership have been reopened, and there will be a selection process over the next few weeks. Shaw will need to stand again to be reselected, he may or may not choose to do so, and he may or may not be chosen. There’s a good likelihood that in a month he will be co-leader.

This has been on the cards for a few weeks, but I’m guessing from Shaw and Marama Davidson’s reaction they weren’t expecting it to get over the line yesterday. It’s worth paying attention to what is going on, but we should resist projecting what other parties do with leadership challenges.

For those of us that value dissent and see it as healthy and necessary for political functionality, the late attempt to get a new co-leader isn’t a problem. It’s only bad if you think dissent is bad, or that the Young Greens (apparently driving this) shouldn’t have a voice or take part in the democratic processes in their own party. But it’s also about trust, that the Greens know how to manage their internal issues even if the public at large isn’t used to things being done this way. There’s no need to panic.

There are two things happening here. One is the internal battle over pragmatics vs the need for fast and substantial system change. Expect to see more debate about this over the next weeks. This twitter discussion is a way into understanding that,

More from ex Green MP Delahunty on RNZ,

Delahunty said it was important to focus on the vision other potential leaders offered, rather than speculating on which individual might replace Shaw.

She said the Greens needed transformative policies to stop climate change, defend the vulnerable in society, and improve social justice.

“I can’t encapsulate that and say there’s one individual right now that I would support,” she said.

“It’s more about if James doesn’t stand again, it opens up an opportunity for somebody to come out and show some vision, and we really need to hear that…”

My own position is both/and. We need people in parliament who will do the pragmatics, but we also need radical honesty and fast change. Whether replacing Shaw is a risk worth taking I don’t know, but not doing everything we can right now to effect system change is doomed to failure.

The second thing is how the Greens function as a party. Leadership in political parties as an internal matter. We don’t vote for the PM, we vote for parties and local MPs. Who leads those parties is a matter for the members, the people who do all the work to make the party functional. The public are of course interested for a range of reasons, and the MSM will be circling to see what clicks can be gleaned.

But with the Greens there seems to be another thing beyond that political interest: it’s that New Zealand treats them as a kind of conscience for the country. Don’t necessarily vote for them but get upset at the idea that the Greens might not be around. There was a lot of reaction yesterday that seemed to stem from people feeling their security was at risk, or that losing Shaw as co-leader means National will win next year.

My own immediate reaction to the news yesterday was to feel a sense of frisson, that something might be about to change and there was finally potential for this. If we believe that change is urgently needed, then we have to stay open to these possibilities.

We’re in a kind of inertia due to the pandemic. Shaw and his team have been working hard doing what they can within a culture that is still largely resistant to the kind of change that will work (one of the reasons I respect him). But it’s not enough. The issue here is whether a leader with a different vision would change the Green Party strategy, including speaking up much more on climate, and whether this would bring a new vitality to parliament and the electorate.

If the people wanting Shaw replaced have a good plan and an appropriate replacement, then this should be considered. Not because Shaw is wrong or bad, but because something needs to change and we’re running out of time.

I can for instance see a Green Party with Marama Davidson and Chloe Swarbrick as co leaders, and Shaw freed up to focus solely on Climate. This doesn’t have to be a diminishing of Shaw’s mana but a shift in how the party works. I’m thinking particularly of the point where Andrew Little stepped aside and allowed Jacinda Ardern to come forth and win the 2017 election.

But I’m looking from the outside, and this doesn’t take into account a number of factors: what happens to the relationships within the caucus and wider party if Shaw is replaced (or decides to leave) and how would that impact on them going forward? Is Chloe Swarbrick ready? Does she want the job? How will the electorate respond to two female leaders in one party? What will the MSM do with that? What does the membership want?

(as an aside, a co-leader doesn’t have to be an MP).

I haven’t seen any such plan though, and I guess this will happen,


Finally, there is a general freak out in the left. Some of that I think is the anxiety I pointed to above, people want stability and reassurance that a Shaw co-led Green Party implies. But some of it is the ongoing leftie own goal. There are people who hate the Greens sufficiently that they would rather see a diminishing of the left than support them. ABG.

There are others who apparently now support the Greens (yes, climate news does focus the mind)  but seem incapable of understanding that if you want a strong green government, then slagging off the Greens every chance you get is just not very smart. A big chunk of voting in New Zealand is based on perceptions of competency, so the people running around today going on about how useless the Greens are, or that they are in disarray, might want to consider whether this is a useful way to behave.

Btw, the impetus for that urgently needed change could come from outside of parliament. The Greens, Te Pāti Māori  and Labour will all be strengthened by a strong extra-parliamentary movement on climate. We can all take part in that.

189 comments on “James Shaw and the Green Party co-leadership ”

  1. weka 1

    also appropriate reminder,

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    In order to avoid these perceived "own goals" that occur as every general election approaches, The Greens simply need to be Not The Greens.

    Then every critic will be happy.

  3. bwaghorn 3

    Can you go ask delahunty and co ,to lay out how they are going to bring radical change ,moving to some sort of regressive society model without crashing the economy and killing off all the nice things like healthcare and benifits and or handing the beehive to the national/act horror show.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Critics of The Greens ask exactly that question, bwaghorn, only instead of "delahunty and co", they say, "The Greens".

      "Can you go ask The Greens to lay out how they are going to bring radical change moving to some sort of regressive society model without crashing the economy and killing off all the nice things like healthcare and benefits and or handing the beehive to the National/ACT horror show."

      Same as it ever was.

    • weka 3.2
      1. I've not seen anyone suggest a regressive society model. Degrowth isn't regressive.

      2. if we don't act, we lock ourselves into "crashing the economy and killing off all the nice things like healthcare and benifits and or handing the beehive to the national/act horror show." That's the pathway we are currently on, the collapse one.

      3. there are other options, which I think is what you might be asking about. Understanding those options requires understanding point 2.

      4. if you want an economic model that isn't not a huge leap from mainstream economics, then look at Kate Raworth's Doughnut Economics.

      • bwaghorn 3.2.1

        I'm sorry but anyone pushing power down, living with less is as dangerous to fixing things as denialists, the future is tech , nuclear fusion ,hydrogen tech , birth control , although you can tax the hell out of air travel if you want.

        • weka

          I know you believe that B, but you still haven't resolved the inherent contradiction in your position: the things you values are going to be lost with BAU.

          Are you suggesting we should live the good life while we can, and then things will crash and burn?

          • bwaghorn

            No I'm looking at my fellow humans and seeing that you couldn't in a month of sundays convince enough people to live a less life to make a difference, the only hope is high tec.

            I'm fully aware of the consequences of bau, but I'm not advocating for that

            • weka

              so it's not that degrowth won't work, it's that people don't like the sound of it. Let's wait until people are starving then eh, I'm sure that will be much better.

              There are plenty of ways to learn about degrowth, there are plenty of people with expertise talking about how it can work. Have you even looked at that?

              I see a lot of negating assertions around this stuff, but every little engagement with the actual ideas and proposals being presented.

              I answered your initial question in good faith, and you won't respond to that with anything other than "it can't work". How do you know?

              • Populuxe1

                You're really asking why neo-feudalism is a tough sell? Because that's essentially what it is under the fluff and rainbows. Few would willingly go along with the restrictions on travel, reproduction, personal ambition etc, without imposed force.
                We only dodged Malthus the last time through the development of heavily industrialised agriculture. Now, even if the global population does plateau at the end of the century as some have predicted, that will still be around 10 billion people that need to be fed, which requires mass industrial agriculture and reliable global distribution.
                "Degrowth" reeks of bourgeois Victorian romanticism tbh.

                • weka

                  You are obviously ignorant of what degrowth is and are parroting BAU memos.

                  and, if you take climate seriously, all the things you name will be lost anyway if we don't act now.

                  Try making an argument that is relevant instead of projecting your nasty/brutish/short fantasies.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Well first of all, there is no macroeconomic model to describe how it would be stable and no real world large scale deployment to observe.

                    Nearly every aspect of modern life – social welfare, public health, education, employment etc – evolved in tandem with a growth model so arguably degrowth is inevitably going to cause catastrophic disruption on a similar scale to climate change itself as it is all dismantled.

                    I'm hardly the first person to raise the issue of whether permaculture or organic farming can even sustain the global population – even pro-degrowthers recognise it's an issue. There's also the fact that non-industrial farming has far lower labour productivity leading to a critical loss of workers to other areas.

                    And then there's this scary little paper (unfortunately paywalled) which points out that a degrowth health system is going to have to choose between energy-intensive elective procedures, complex surgeries and medications – ie prioritising the special needs of individuals, or ecological integrity and collective well-being.

                    It's not that it couldn't work, it's that it would be a crime against humanity in its own right to get there. It's all very well well needing to break a few eggs to make the omelette, but it's a lot of eggs to break without even knowing if that omelette will even arrive on the plate, let alone it arrive burned and having to picking out all the little suffering fragments of eggshell.

                    and, if you take climate seriously, all the things you name will be lost anyway if we don't act now.

                    Well that certainly has Long March and Five Year Plan written all over it. Why not throw in a little mass euthanasia of useless eaters to make it spicey?

                    There is nothing more likely to generate public apathy then to tell them the only way to escape an dystopian nightmare is something that looks an awful lot like just another dystopian nightmare.

                    • weka

                      All I'm seeing there is TINA! based on your belief that transition is inevitably horrendous and genocidal. You haven't made an argument for why that's inevitable, other than linked to some people whose work supports you base position (I assume, I'm not reading swathes of research to try and parse your unspoken argument).

                      Well that certainly has Long March and Five Year Plan written all over it. Why not throw in a little mass euthanasia of useless eaters to make it spicey?

                      This more than anything tells me about your ideological blindness. That you cannot imagine anything good happening or being possible other BAU until it all falls apart. Or maybe you just don't believe that climate is that big a deal.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Of course it's bloody inevitable! If I chop off your legs you will inevitably fall over. You might eventually learn how to get along but do you really want to go through the process? Do you really think it's any more ethical to put people through that?
                      And stop throwing past their use by date social media buzzwords at me – it's irritating.
                      I am well aware of the historical development of degrowth. Like most things that originate in French discourse it's heavy on social theory and very light on science.

  4. weka 4

    There's this argument being made: that centrists will move right if the Greens get more radical and this will cost the left the election.


    The problem with this analysis is it doesn't take into account climate urgency. If we acquiesce to centrists we will lock ourselves into runaway climate change and utter catastrophe.

    There is probably a third option.

  5. BAW 5

    Nat voter here.

    At the end of the day the Green voter is not going to vote for the Nats. It is either Labour or Green.

    Thus while it does not look very tidy for the Greens – at the end of the day it is unlikley to change the out come of election 2024 – unless the Greens go so far left as to harm the Labour brand.

    Sure sucks for Shaw though as I am sure he has worked very hard.

    • weka 5.1

      that would have to be one of the more sensible comments I've seen.

    • bwaghorn 5.2

      Your overlooking the swing voters , who if they think the greens are dangerous to stability decide to vote national, (highly unlikely I fit that description as the nats a corrupt filth ,being taken over by religious nuts)

      • weka 5.2.1

        the Greens aren't unstable, and issues of stability will feature in election year, which is a long way off. If the Greens are going to change leader, now is the time to do it. Or resolve the internal issues around pragmatism vs system change. It's the best time to do it, because the last thing we need is this resurfacing next year.

    • Populuxe1 5.3

      The thing is, many in the Greens see being in opposition as an asset rather than a liability – as a protest party rather than lawmakers. They aren't wedded to wanting the reins of power – a fact not helped by their constitutional focus on party membership over broader electability. It's just not their primary agenda.

    • newsense 5.4

      I think there are some wealthy, organic eating type voters and those common sense types who watch the weather news and the floods, who swing between the Nats and the Greens. Wealthy liberals, perhaps who could never vote for the socialists. At the risk of false equivalency the teal independent type vote.

      How significant they are over the country as a whole I don’t know.

      • Chess Player 5.4.1

        I think this cohort is growing and, if properly engaged with, could provide a powerful boost forward toward environmental and climate goals.

      • Gristle 5.4.2

        Will Top be the equivalent of the Teal candidates in Australia?

        • newsense

          Very unlikely. The teals were by and large local candidates or Liberals with a high profile already. It was more a case of the governing party leaving the electorate than something new.

          TOP has a credibility gap currently, irrespective of its policies, comparatively.

          The NZ electorate isn’t currently as interested in the climate emergency it seems. I hope we don’t have to have the horror events Australia has before we start getting serious about our climate response.

    • Lanthanide 5.5

      The election is in 2023, for starters.

    • pat 5.6

      "At the end of the day the Green voter is not going to vote for the Nats. It is either Labour or Green."

      Probably not,,,,though a blue green faction exists (potential for a breakaway party remains, and these are the type of actions that precipitate such events)….a significant portion of Greens support are disaffected historical Labour voters so if that dissatisfaction widens the likely result is for them to join the ranks of non voters.

  6. Robert Guyton 6

    The Greens, it transpires, haven't crashed the economy etc. They have, in fact, done a great deal of what is possible to bring about just change. Few will be happy with that entirely responsible approach. Better a radical smash-up, yes?

    • weka 6.1

      don't know about that, I think quite a few people are happy with the steady as she changes approach.

      What if it's not enough?

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.1

        It's clearly not enough but it's the best platform for a reformer to work from if they wish to succeed.
        I think James is a Very Smart Operator. I’m not swayed by the knee-jerk reactions from the commentariat, professional or amateur, that declares him ineffectual. He’s at the heart of this matter. He will shape it best, imo.

        • weka

          given it's not enough, what else needs to happen?

          • Lanthanide

            Social change and moving the overton window.

            That's a slow process.

            • weka

              unless something happens to speed it up. Like a pandemic, GFC, big quake, another pandemic, food shortages, major climate/weather event…

              Trick is to be organised so that when one of those things happens, we 'tip' in the right direction (towards regenerative culture, away from authoritarianism).

    • Populuxe1 6.2

      The Greens, it transpires, have never been let close enough to the steering wheel for us to find out either way.

  7. Charlie 7

    That 32% are made up of numbskulls that have no idea what the political fallout would be if Shaw is voted out as co leader. They are not just young either, Delahunty shows that wisdom does not always come with age. The better decision would be to get rid of Davidson and along with her all the woke tossers that have infiltrated the Greens. Rod must be spinning in his grave.

    • newsense 7.1

      woke tossers?
      What does that mean? Apart from inarticulate rhetoric. To a lot of internet commenters that would be anyone who voted for this government at any time.

      • Charlie 7.1.1

        Nothing to do with the environment but all about identity politics, pronoun mangling and cancel culture. If you are into inarticulate rhetoric then how does a bunch of wankers sound.

        • newsense

          So you don’t like trans people? Or you can’t do a bit of respect to the trans community and front foot environmental goals?

          Bit ballsy claiming to speak for Rod Donald…

  8. Sanctuary 8

    Well I guess a lot of people with confused pronouns were happily high fiving each other yesterday, before getting down to planning how all 50 of them can illegally walk on the motorway in 2024 to make a point since they'll be completely out of power come next year.

    They'll be very Green though. Except they won't be, because this is actually a party whose membership is obsessed with radical and electorally utterly marginal identity issues first, second and third.

    • Incognito 8.1

      Such commentators often simplistically point out that our name, and colour, is Green. The slightest bit more research would uncover that our charter is explicitly holistic in its four pillars: entrenching values of ecological wisdom, social responsibility, appropriate decision making, and non-violence. You don’t get paradigm shift towards genuine sustainability without all four. And, it’s worth remembering, they’ve been there from the grassroots genesis of our party.

      Piece by Chlöe Swarbrick (https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/11-04-2018/why-we-cant-divorce-genuine-climate-action-from-social-justice)

      • Sanctuary 8.1.1

        What does that waffle really mean? All I see is a long list of proposals that would trash the economy and might be sustainable if we had the same population as we did in 1922, not 2022. Yet the Greens also seem to advocate for unchecked immigration, Go figure. What I would like to see from the Greens is some sort of serious attempt to grapple with the issues of how you don't throw half the population into penury by crashing the economy whilst doing something substantial about climate. What sort of social justice would that end up being?

        And we are democracy so no, we are not shooting the Kulaks and seizing the means of production anytime soon so we can do massive wealth redistibution while we all accept a lower standard of living. It just isn’t going to happen. The Greens have got to lose the anti-science and slaughter invite round for a cup of oat milk some serious sacred cows.

        Right here, right now in 2022 the only way the world can massively transition to a low carbon electricity network is going to be by the extensive use of nuclear power – surely worrying about nuclear waste storage isn't as bad as 4 degrees of global warming? The Greens should be embracing nuclear power as a plausible answer to future energy needs.

        And it is long past time the Greens gave up their luddism in relation to GE technology – if you are going to feed the planet with less fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides you are going to need GE. They are going to have to stop being against things like wind farms and big solar power plants as a general principle and embrace them as a policy platform.

        This is why this Shaw business is so damaging. It reinforces a public perception of the Greens as a bunch of slightly comical but potentially dangerous anarcho-vegans who like to wave copies of Mao's little red book at Boomers because they know it annoys them, rather than a party of serious politicians with concrete and achievable policy outcomes they are building a consensus around that they can deliver in government.

        • weka

          Yet the Greens also seem to advocate for unchecked immigration,

          Meanwhile, actual GP policy,

          10. The effects of overall population growth on the environment, the economy and infrastructure need to be actively managed and planned for. These effects depend on our environmental footprint per capita and particularly on those people with the largest environmental footprint.
          11. The “carrying capacity” or sustainable population level for Aotearoa New Zealand is flexible, depending on our environmental footprint and other factors, such as climate change impacting the productive capacity of our agricultural land, and changing demographics.
          12. Immigration policy should consider sustainable population levels. Any successful sustainable population-based policy is dependent on retaining theright of parental choice and the empowerment of women.


          If you are so wrong on this point, I'm going to assume that the rest of your analysis is skewed. Basically comes across as ignorant of what GP policy is but willing to diss it because you believe in TINA and BAU.

        • Incognito

          That “waffle” was about commentators such as you who have selective hearing and sight when it comes to the Green Party.

          Your anti-Green rant is pathetic and full of errors, mistakes, and lies, but I won’t moderate you because this is weka’s Post.

          For example:

          They are going to have to stop being against things like wind farms and big solar power plants as a general principle and embrace them as a policy platform.

          From the GP Energy Policy:

          4. Realising the potential of renewable energy

          The Green Party wants to accelerate the generation of renewable energy in order to meet climate change obligations and become less reliant on fossil fuels.

          A. Supporting Wind Energy

          New Zealand has an excellent wind resource. The combination of wind and hydro is particularly beneficial as water can be stored in the lakes when the wind is blowing and used to generate power when it is not. Care is needed in choosing sites for wind farms.

          Policy Positions

          4.1. Develop national guidance on wind energy and provide planning assistance to district and regional councils, to enable them to provide sites suitable for wind farms in their plans whilst minimising impacts on local communities in advance of specific proposals.

          B. Using the Sun

          Solar energy is most effectively used as direct heat for water and space heating and increasingly for solar power using photo-voltaic panels.

          Policy Positions

          4.2. Provide low interest Government loans to enable affordable solar power installation and storage on New Zealand buildings, such as schools and marae, which are well-suited to solar energy use.

          4.3. Set standards and provide guidance for achieving sustainable building design that ensure new buildings make use of solar energy and storage (see our Housing and Sustainable Communities policy).

          4.4. Ensure that covenants cannot inhibit optimum solar design, including orientation of houses and location of external heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units

          Please enlighten us which other NZ parties are in favour of nuclear energy and GMOs.

          • RedLogix

            Please enlighten us which other NZ parties are in favour of nuclear energy

            Well not from NZ, but the Finnish Greens have recently endorsed nuclear energy.

            In a historic shift, Finland’s Green Party voted overwhelmingly to adopt a fully pro-nuclear stance at its national meeting.

            The party manifesto now states that nuclear is “sustainable energy” and demands the reform of current energy legislation to streamline the approval process for SMRs (small modular reactors). Finland’s is the first Green Party to adopt such a position.

            Very smart country. There is hope yet.

  9. mickysavage 9

    Good post Weka.

    My personal view in relation to climate is that Shaw is correct in seeking a Parliamentary consensus and the result that he has achieved is as about as good as we can hope for. But I agree that New Zealand Inc needs to do more.

    • bwaghorn 9.1

      Yip it's like pushstarting a heavy car , you start with small hard won steps and as it starts to budge the steps get bigger and easier.

      • weka 9.1.1

        We did that already. If we don't get the car going soon, the tidal wave will over take us.

    • weka 9.2

      cheers micky.

      I've be less worried about the current GP approach if I saw some sign of extra-parliamentary movements.

  10. Ad 10

    Hang in there James.

    You're the guy who got them to 10%.

    By next Friday you'll be back.

    • AB 10.1

      Yes – I hope he is reappointed. I think Shaw has been good at working within the constraints imposed by the world as it actually is – and getting something done.

      On its own though, that's not enough. You also need someone who has the charisma to change perceptions and make the world receptive to greater change than is possible within the current status quo, i.e. to 'shift the needle' (to use a Luxonesque business cliche.) Swarbrick is most likely that person. Ultimately, I think the Greens need to get away from a split leadership on gender, as there is absolutely no need to positively discriminate in favour of women in that party. It's a solution in search of a problem. Go to a single leader for 2026 – probably Swarbrick.

      • Ad 10.1.1

        Depends if you want a job.

        At 5% without Shaw, the people who lose their $165,000 a year are:

        • Ricardo Menendez March
        • Elizabeth Kerekere
        • Teanau Tuiono, and
        • Golriz Gharahman

        Which makes it so weird the deathly silence of those MPs coming out to support Shaw. At 10% they are due for at least 5 positions outside Cabinet at over $200k, with staff and budget and actual change to make.

        At 4.9% they will all need to go find actual jobs.

        But then, who needs power when you can keep stuffing ash in your mouth?

        • Lanthanide

          Coldly rational. I like it.

        • weka

          it's not weird if you consider a few things,

          eg the process is for the party, rushing to say something in public isn't necessary or warranted.

          And the caucus will have its own process to work through, you know they might even be talking to each other about what the best strategy is rather than rushing to say something public to save their own butts. Consensus processes have a lot going for them.

          • Ad

            25% to kill off your leader: consensus my ass.

            They are certainly talking to each other.

            • weka

              if you don't want to learn how the GP functions that's on you Ad. But to assume that the MPs not jumping out on day one out of self-interest when there are other more plausible explanations says something about you.

              • Lanthanide

                Mathematics says that 25% is not consensus. You can try and put whatever words around that to contextualize it that you want, but you can't escape mathematics.

                • weka

                  The caucus uses a form of consensus decision making. That's what I was referring to when Ad said it was weird the MPs were speaking out to save their jobs. I would expect there to be discussions within caucus about things like public statements, and direction of the party. Especially after what happened in caucus in 2017.

                  I wasn't saying that the vote to reopen nominations was consensus, it was Ad that conflated the two things. Out of ignorance or because fudging the processes serves his political argument, I don't know. He runs so hot and cold on the Greens.

                  One of the Four Principles of the GP Charter is Appropriate Decision-making,

                  For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.


                  Consensus decision making is one of the tools they use, and this is balanced with pragmatics. They have various rules around important decisions like co-leader selection, like the allowance for late nominations. This increase democratic participation in the party. My point to Ad was that if you want to understand what is going on it's best to understand those things.

                  • weka

                    All decisions by: any Group, Electorate, or Province; General Meeting; Executive; Caucus; Executive Working Group or any other body overseen by the Green Party shall be made by consensus. This means by the agreement of most participants, with dissenters and abstainers agreeing to recognise the majority opinion as being the decision.

                    14.2 If consensus on a motion is not achieved after reasonable attempts, a vote can be taken. A motion shall be carried with a 75% majority of the votes cast. Those
                    who do not agree with the decision may have their objections included in any minutes recorded.


                • Incognito

                  Mathematics says nothing of the kind.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Consensus decision-making or consensus process (often abbreviated to consensus) are group decision-making processes in which participants develop and decide on proposals with the aim, or requirement, of acceptance by all. The focus on establishing agreement of the supermajority and avoiding unproductive opinion, differentiates consensus from unanimity, which requires all participants to support a decision.


                    A supermajority, supra-majority, qualified majority, or special majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which is greater than the threshold of more than one-half used for a simple majority.

                    25% is a mathematical minority, not a majority.

        • Sanctuary

          I must confess I have never heard of Elizabeth Kerekere and Teanau Tuiono, so I suspect no great loss there and neither Ricardo Menendez March or Golriz Gharahman seems to have successsfully made the transition from activist to member of parliament that Schwarbrick has. I thought that Gharahman had enormous potential, but all her and Menendez ever seem to do is whine about something. Perhaps they'd secretly be happier poorer but purer in some NGO or another.

        • Jester

          Well said.

        • felix

          "At 5% without Shaw, the people who lose their $165,000 a year are:

          • Ricardo Menendez March
          • Elizabeth Kerekere
          • Teanau Tuiono, and
          • Golriz Gharahman"

          Well when you put it like that it doesn't seem such a bad result.

      • Foreign waka 10.1.2

        That seems to be the plan anyways, she is gunning for he top job for a while now. Just remember that the little promo film at taxpayer cost was cancelled last minute. Does anyone think it is forgotten? Really? Easy to spot for some. Also those who preach under the political mantel all those high values seem not have to carry the can so to speak. None of them live in poverty, have to deal with extreme inflation on top of having had two years of covid lockdowns, restrictions etc. You can stretch this "resilience" only so far. James Shaw at least is clever enough to recognize this and tries to get incremental change and not antagonize people who are already dealing with high stressors. These are also voters and if their livelihood is in danger, the survival mod sets in. If the radicals take the lead and propose to those who have already difficulties to tighten their belt further, its good luck for the greens.

        Don't get me wrong but the transition needs careful planning and not just for a few. Buckle up, this can get interesting.

      • Populuxe1 10.1.3

        Well, as we have now seen, Swarbrick, the only one of the lot to win an actual electoral seat, had the good commonsense to announce she wasn't running for co-leadership.

        Rico Menéndez March, who doesn't really appear to have achieved anything of merit within the party and has all the personal charm of a bull in a china shop, isn't backing Shaw.

        And from all the way back in 9th place on the Greens list, Elizabeth Kerekere is amusingly considering a run at it herself.

    • solkta 10.2

      Bullshit. The Greens secured 11.1% of the party vote in 2011 and 10.7% in 2014. Shaw entered Parliament in 2014 and became leader in 2015. The Greens then secured 6.3% in 2017 and 7.86% in 2020. It was Russel Norman who "got them to 10%”.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        I'd simply add "… got them to 10% currently after the complete and utter 2017 clsterfuck of their co-leader committing harikiri live on tv."

        • solkta

          in other words: "I got it wrong out of complete ignorance so will change my post to this.."

          • Ad

            Nope. Got them to 10% this term is fine.

            • solkta

              If we are going to talk in polls Norman got them to 14%.

              • Corey Humm

                The greens got around 10% in 2014 and around 7.8% in 2020… They've never been anywhere close to 14% which would be around 19 seats! I think you both are mistaking seat count with vote share.

                • solkta

                  If you bother to read what i said i give the party vote figures for 2014 and 2020, and with 14% i am obviously talking about opinion polls.

          • Bearded Git

            Shaw saved the Greens brilliantly and almost single handed in 2017 when they looked like crashing and burning.

      • weka 10.2.2

        there's more to it than that though. The GP vote probably dropped the election Norman hinted at working with national. And Shaw can hardly be blamed for 2017, so we don't know what the vote would have been if that whole thing and Ardern hadn't happened.

        Likewise 2020 was Labour riding high on the pandemic response.

        2023 will be a test for the Greens, with Shaw or with someone else.

      • Patricia Bremner 10.2.3

        Solka, the disclosures by Matiria Turei dropped the Green vote, not James Shaw.

        • solkta

          I did not say that Shaw had dropped the vote. I was saying that ad was full of shit saying that Shaw "got them to 10%”. Russel Norman deserves the credit he is due.

          ps i support Shaw for co-leader.

        • Stuart Munro

          I think it was more the unrelenting biased media attacks on MT, than her revelations per se, that dropped the Green vote. The revelation of the untenable state of social support entities was no news to anyone that had been obliged to deal with the mfs.

  11. observer 11

    I'm no political genius but I thought the idea was to get more votes. Otherwise, no power to do anything at all. I didn't think that was a hard concept to grasp.

    These new votes would obviously come from people who didn't previously vote Green, but are "green-leaning", especially on climate change.

    The number of voters who will switch to the Greens if Shaw is dumped can safely be counted on one hand. Maybe no hands. Who are these mystery voters supposed to be, and who were they previously voting for? Who said "I vote Lab/Nat, and would like to vote Green but James Shaw was the obstacle, because the party's climate change policy was too soft and so I'm sticking with parties who want to do much less" … ?

    • Chess Player 11.1

      Excellent summary.

      There's a threshold for what percentage of a population would ever vote for the Greens, just as for any other party.

      I suspect this was reached a few elections ago when they got to (I think) 14%.

      But the problem is that those people who voted for them then, or since, may not see much achieved for the environment. Maybe for other causes, but not for the environment.

      Maybe Shaw decided it was better to get 'something' done rather than wait for nirvana to arrive and achieve perfection? If so, I don't blame him.

      Major change is always best achieved incrementally, so that the change is baked in and accepted and isn't just tossed out at the next opportunity.

      In my opinion this latest cluster is the result of the economy diving and the hard left seeing their opportunity to exert their power by threatening to splinter off to form a new hard left party.

      If that happened, the true environmentalists in the Greens (maybe 30-40%?) would be struggling to get re-elected. The hard left wouldn't care if they don't get re-elected as they prefer shouting from the sidelines anyway. Their separation from (and imagined superiority over) the mainstream grunts who actually get things done is what defines them.

      Interesting times ahead.

    • newsense 11.2

      Maybe there are people who think there is more urgency required?

      Monbiot on the failure of get a long incrementalism:

      Over the past few years, I’ve begun to see that mainstream environmental movements have made a terrible mistake. The theory of change pursued by most established green groups is entirely wrong. Though seldom openly articulated, it governs their strategy. It goes something like this. There is too little time and the ask is too big to try to change the system. People aren’t ready for it. We don’t want to scare away our members or provoke a fight with the government. So the only realistic approach is incrementalism. We will campaign, issue by issue, sector by sector, for gradual improvements. After years of persistence, the small asks will add up to the comprehensive change we seek and deliver the world we want.

      And people who see how utterly betrayed we are by alleged democracies:

      US Supreme Court judicial activism on climate change

      Or perhaps by the governing structures of democracies that talk a good game and then do the opposite or fail to prevent the opposite from happening in anything approaching a timely manner:

      Auckland Transport fighting fighting climate change

      NRT blasting the government

      NRT blasting James Shaw

      Not that I have a dog in this fight. Though I have enjoyed NZ’s moderate climate. And I live on the earth. It’s hardly James Shaw’s fault that 80-90% of the parliament is in favour of little to no action on climate change. Can another leader be more effective in communicating the urgency of the situation and the necessity of a Green Party to effect change? Or should that be Shaw’s job to continue?

  12. Temp ORary 12

    The surprising thing to me was the increase in delegates opposed to Shaw's coleadership from last year to this. During the Battle of the Jameses election last year:

    One hundred and sixteen of the delegates voted for Shaw, four voted for Cockle…

    Twenty delegates abstained from the vote, but Shaw said this was unsurprising.

    "That is quite a similar number to the people who voted against going into the co-operation agreement [with the Labour party] in the first place.

    "I think that is just that group of people who weren't comfortable that what we managed to negotiate after the election was really sufficient to be worth it.


    Whereas there didn't seem to be any reported undecided this year. So that's an increase in anti-Shaw delegates from a committed 3.4% last year (20.7% if you include undecideds) to 29.9% this year. Which doesn't argue well for Shaw's standing with the party during next year's election. And given that any GP member (even Cockle if he is still current, though the Extinction Rebellion faction might be better to choose another representative there) can challenge Shaw this week, it is likely to come to a vote in a month's time. The question is whether any sitting MPs will join in the contest, and so far they've been keeping quiet on that.

    Thirty-two out of 107 delegates voted at the party's online annual general meeting today to vacate Shaw's position, more than the 25 percent threshold necessary under the Greens' rules.

    The vote means any Green Party member can now put their name forward for the role over the next week


    But even if Shaw makes it back as coleader at that vote, he still faces a significant obstacle before the general election next year. It seems unlikely that delegates will trigger yet another coleadership challenge in an election year AGM. But there is a fair degree of dissatisfaction (fairly or not) within the general party that those delegates represent. So Shaw might find himself coleader with a list position too low to get returned as an MP unless he secures an electorate. And delisting campaigns such as this from before the 2020 election (not the only one, but the only published that I could find) will have a bit more time to get organized:

    A small group of left-wing Green Party members want co-leader James Shaw, as well as high profile MP Chlöe Swarbrick and Minister Eugenie Sage out of Parliament by placing them in an unwinnable position on the party list…

    The ranking of the list is voted on by members in two different stages; first by delegates at a conference for an initial list and then by thousands of Green Party members closer to the election…

    The Green Left, a network of left-wing members of the Green Party, has sent an email to its members with a proposed list ranking, which it recommends members follow when submitting ballots on the list that's been sent out to members.


    • weka 12.1

      Shaw, Swarbrick and Eugenie were at 2, 3 and 6 respectively in the final list.

      You're comparing quite different votes. This year's vote was to reopen nominations. This can be seen as a clear vote to replace Shaw with someone else.

      Last year's vote was between Shaw and Cockle. Obviously not many people wanted Cockle who still may have wanted Shaw replaced.

      There's also a difference between delegates and members. From what I can tell, sometimes quite a big difference.

        • Temp ORary

          In my experience, delegates are the more active members of the parties, voted for by those who bother to turn up to the local meetings on a regular basis. Though I am mainly familiar with the Green Ōtepoti group, and they are more focused on this year's local rather than next's general election. Delegates and regulars tend to be more aware of strategic voting in the party lists rather than simple name recognition of sitting MPs.

          So the Greens Left group more were trying to boost the rankings of those they saw common ground with more than to exclude Shaw. There were other recommendation lists at the time, including I imagine one from the Auckland based Greens which helped get Swarbrick up to list position 3 from her initial ranking of 7. The ones I saw mostly disregarded sitting MPs in favour of higher rankings to new candidates, who all ended up at the end of the list anyway – Tuiono falling from 5 to 8, Kerekere & March steady at 9&10.

          The votes are indeed different, but both indicate a difference in delegate support for Shaw and Davidson respectively. I'd predict that any sitting (or previous) MP would get more support than last year's challenger, but will have to wait and see on that.

    • Ad 12.2

      Having delivered more long term and permanent change than any other Green MP in New Zealand, Shaw could walk into any major consultancy here or overseas and generate far more influence and reward than he will ever get with these MPs.

      Those who want him to stay have this conference to make the 25% pipe down or it will be a fight with boxcutters through to the election.

      • Temp ORary 12.2.1

        More like 30% Ad. But yes, if things don't get sorted next month then it could get messy later. Worst case is a party split because that always gets personal, and it seems unlikey that any offshoot Green party will clear the 5% threshold next year. Its not really fair, but Shaw might leave more to stop the infighting than because he can't win a coleadership election.

        • Chess Player

          Interesting thought – do you think he will care that much about the good of the party, given how they have treated their saviour from 2017 and highest achieving MP since?

          • Robert Guyton

            "They" are merely a minor subset of the Party. The majority clearly support James.

            • Chess Player

              Do you think the way they voted was genuinely how they felt though? or how they'd been asked to vote by those they represent as delegates?

  13. newsense 13

    If the voters wanted lukewarm action on climate they can vote Labour, if they want platitudes and inaction they can vote right wing parties.

    The Green Party must be spearheading a strategy that sees real climate leadership. That means finding rural leaders, business leaders and others who take the heatwaves, fires and floods seriously and putting them in the front of the conversation. It doesn’t mean making things politically tidy for the government until it gets elected again.

    A consensus is good, but also we’re into the consequences in a big way. There has to be an environmental choice for voters. Look at the situation in Australia. Climate focused voters changed the election.

    It doesn’t feel like we’ve got that much of a surge of voters, but if the option isn’t there who knows?

    Also, I’m not necessarily a Swarbrick fanboy, but a leader who is holding the Auckland City electorate may pull better numbers up in Auckland. The blue-green voters are a definite thing. There’s energy behind her you don’t see behind Shaw.

    It requires a very careful sales job, as we’ve seen decades of fear mongering about the Greens. Julie Anne Genter’s tone deafness on the fuel tax is an example.

    The incremental progress made must be kept, but this is a crucial election for the climate. Voters need a more decisive option for the climate.

    Am I convinced by Shaw or Swarbrick? Not hugely, but they’ve been part of government.

    Labour has to see with the farmer BS after the Euro trade deal that nothing is going to please the rural lobby. Any concessions from French farmers is good deal. Grinding some wins when you’re in a weak position is fine, but these pricks think they should get extra special consideration at every point.

    It does rather seem like Labour wants to buy off the rural lobby, and we’ll continue with a more fashionably articulated version of Steven Joyce’s position on climate change. Be a late late adopter and as little as necessary. A few headline projects, but not too much dangerous political capital. Those who are affected in the extreme (coastal properties, flood damage, heatwave damage, crop failures etc) can roll the dice, but are probably shit outa luck.

    But eh. Not sure what can realistically be achieved. We are now having as many people die a day as happened for the first two years and wearing masks, opening windows a tiny amount and getting pre-travel tests are considered crazy restrictions on freedom. Hard to see us unite for climate action.

  14. Tiger Mountain 14

    The NZ Greens are more transparent and consultative in their processes than the natzos or NZ Labour what ever you may think of their policies and various pundits paroxysms over this turn of events.

    I will be voting Green again regardless of who the leader/s are for 2023, and it is quite likely 9-10% of other New Zealanders will too. If they keep up work like supporting oppressed students and help restart regular Climate Strikes their vote could rise.

  15. Patricia Bremner 15

    Baby and bathwater came to mind. This reeks of a "don't like James Shaw" faction.

    I find it sad, as the work he has done has removed the "no climate change" statements to arguments over who will bear the brunt. It is dawning that we all will. This game is a snowball. We have one, we just need to keep it rolling in the right direction, gathering mass.

    I get where you are coming from, and ideals are necessary as a foundation, but a good dose of pragmatism keeps feet grounded.

    So the Greens want Systems Change and feel the current Ministers are not taking decisions quickly enough, and not in the desired direction, following Green Pillars.

    That may be so, but outside people see this as parallel to Destiny Church's protest.

    To my mind it appears to be all or nothing, rather binary. Changing a Leader will not alter what is happening or planned for climate change between now and the next Election.

    James may still be Climate Minister, but the Greens will have removed their support for him rocking his chances in further negotiations. Further the unblooded Leader will be undermining his ability to negotiate by loudly proclaiming a vision of Nervana.

    Both Bishop Brian and the new Green Leader may have a diet of fervour plus sack cloth and ashes. Meantime the Right are feasting on the factions. imo

    • Chess Player 15.1

      I agree – whatever problems the Greens have, the guy who brought them back from the brink in 2017, and has since become one of their most effective MPs ever, is not one of them.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 15.2

      Shaw's judgement isn't perfect (he supported co-leader Turei's decision to reveal that as a young solo mum she had committed benefit fraud), but whose is? His advocacy for action on climate change has been principled and dedicated – hope he continues, but couldn't hold it against him if he stepped away from the rough-and-tumble of politics.

      Man who punched Green Party co-leader James Shaw sent to prison
      [6 Nov. 2019]
      He has been less inclined to go out since the assault, and it has impacted on his family and staff.

      After being treated by paramedics at the scene of the attack, Shaw continued on to work, but had to visit the hospital emergency department after his nose started bleeding later in the day.

      It was discovered his right orbital plate was fractured, and the injury had been bleeding into his sinuses.

    • Foreign waka 15.3

      If the Greens want system change then they will need to get the majority in parliament. With this immature action as displayed, it is questionable whether they are capable to lead a cow to the shed. The last time I looked, all of the NZ people have a right to vote and it is their voice that needs to be heard. 10% is not a majority. There are 90% who did not vote for the Green Party. They need to remember that.

    • felix 15.4

      "This reeks of a "don't like James Shaw" faction."

      That's unfair, they'd be just as opposed to any white heterosexual cisgendered man in a leadership role.

  16. Ric 16

    Economic stability will be a significant influence on the next election. Climate change will be a concern for many. The best leader of the Greens to create the impression that voting for the Greens will address these issues is James Shaw.

    Anyone considering changing the leader owes Green Party members an explanation as to how this will put the Green Party in a better position to change government policy. The time to press for a strong stand on poverty and climate change is during coalition negotiations following the next election. This would be easier with more Green MPs.

    It remains to be seen if those who voted for reopening nominations have a plan that justifies the likely political damage of their actions. The fact that they have not put up a candidate for leader leaves me doubtful.

    • Chess Player 16.1

      I suspect it's a case of 'tactics without strategy'.

      If I was Shaw, I'd call their bluff.

  17. Muttonbird 17

    One thing I don't get is the reason offered for agitating to replace Shaw being he's soft on climate.

    Doesn't make sense because Shaw's strength is climate. Davidson's is social issues and Swarbrick's is youth and social issues.

    From what I've seen Swarbrick doesn't have much of a profile on climate so to have her replace Shaw on that issue seems odd.

    I suspect it is more about about replacing Shaw because he is seen as too soft/consensus driven and Swarbrick is more abrasive.

    For party balance it seems a no brainer to replace Davidson with Swarbrick but they've mandated one Maori leader so that can't happen.

    • Grey Area 17.1

      For party balance it seems a no brainer to replace Davidson with Swarbrick but they've mandated one Maori leader so that can't happen.

      Exactly. The Greens have painted themselves into a corner with what Corey Humm calls their "nutty new leadership criteria". In my opinion it was dumb when I first heard of it and its even dumber now.

      • weka 17.1.1

        it's only dumb if you think that Māori and women don't deserve good political representation.

        • Grey Area

          Lucky that's not me then eh.

          I understand what you're saying I just don't think the rules arrived at are the answer.

          Other Green parties have wrestled with this. I came across this article from 2020 about the UK situation. I don't know if they have altered their rules since but its no easy task as the writer of this article said their system was broken but didn't seem to offer any better alternative.


          I totally get the need to address the gender balance but what if correcting one injustice just creates a different imbalance?

        • felix

          "it's only dumb if you think that Māori and women don't deserve good political representation."

          Nah, it's also dumb if you recognise that the Green Party doesn't have a gender imbalance to address.

  18. Corey Humm 18

    This is why the Greens will never be in cabinet. This is just messy af.

    No government is going to put an mp from a party in cabinet when that mps rank and file can roll them and get them placed so far down the list they aren't in parliament. Even if they couldn't move them down the list. It's messy. Too messy.

    Besides James isn't the co-leader who should be going, he saved the Greens arses in 2017, Marama Davison is the one who should be replaced with Chloe Swarbrik if not for that nutty new leadership criteria.

    Right now, is this really when the greens should be imploding when there's wall to wall coverage hating on the left?

    What actually shocked me was that there was a vote on a party rule that would pretty much rule out any centerist party who held the balance of power working with Labour in a 2017 situation. Demanding total transparency to party membership on coalition negotiations and putting all these demands would have made NZf go with National, and the greens would be blamed electorally for inflicting three more years of National on the public due to their party rules if this rule passed.

    The Greens aren't the lefts answer to ACT they are a coalition of rich centerist environmentalists and soc Dems.

    If you take out the centerist wing those voters will go to national or top. Not labour.

    Who do people think the individuals donating $10-100+ k for green party election campaigns ? Poor rank and file? No it's rich af green capitalists, hipsters and the upper middle class.

    Ive been to enough Green party functions to realize the party is a coalition of a centerist faction that's more blue green than red green and a faction of anti neoliberal leftys.

    I don't know where all these poor radical grass roots activists are I only ever see rich white folks, rich kids, hipsters and wacky upper middle class white people at Green functions. I recall being upset on election night 2017 about suicide and homelessness if national won and being told by a much of these people in different wacky self empowering self helpy crystal faith healing type ways that "I know I'm comfortable and going to be ok, don't think about those problems you've gotta be self sufficient", a significant amount of the greens membership and voters are rich people who just want their neighborhood to be nice and clean.

    The greens can never be a left wing answer to ACT. Only a social democratic/socialist party that focuses on class and solely on economic left issues can, another alliance or new labour, as is the green "left " thinks left wing means focusing solely on talking about identity politics issues like gender sexuality, race and privilege. You know the rich kids idea about what left wing politics is not economic justice or class politics.

    I hope we get a third term of center left govt but holy shit. Two men in the entire caucus and they are potentially gonna kick the one proven male co-leader in caucus and a sitting minister out for a social justice statement. We're bleeding male votes like crazy on the left and I can see centerist greenies and male greenies going to top.

    No way the greens ever get in cabinet when they can be rolled by an angry youth wing.

    We need a class left party.

    • weka 18.1

      people need to calm down. The Greens aren't imploding. Every year there is a vote on the two leadership positions. There is a nomination process (which was used last year). There is also a process by which late nominations can be had, which is what happened this year.

      None of the MPs or co-leaders can be rolled by an angry youth wing, or any small faction, it's just not possible. If there is at least one nomination, there will be a process to elect a co leader. 70 odd percent voted against the late nominations opening. There's a very strong chance that Shaw will be reelected with a strong mandate. Not absolutely certain, but most likely.

      Why does a change in GP leadership affect a coalition agreement with Labour? How many leaders has Labour had in the past decade? It's normal for leaders to change, that's how parties refresh themselves. It would be way better if people learned how the GP works and why.

      As for the remit that would have made coalition negotiations more transparent, the outcome is good: a working group is going to look at how to make the process better, it's been problematic for some time. This is how democracy works, in the Greens the members and active members get to have a say in what the Greens do. Imagine if we had that kind of say in how government worked.

      I'm sorry there is no working class party in NZ. I think we would be far better off with one. But this is on Labour, not the Greens. People should stop expecting the Greens to be something they are not. They are good at what they do, being a Green political party.

      And it's ok that the Greens have middle class support. We need the middle classes to change how power and wealth is shared, they're the ones with the most leeway. It's a good thing not a bad thing that middle class Green members (and voters) have enabled the policy platform that the Greens have. Which btw, is the most left wing policy platform on offer. So slag them off all you like, but may as well shoot yourself in the foot. The Greens with 20 MPs would shift the Overton Window, and this would in turn open the way for a working class party to arise.

      I do agree with you about the issue of men on the list, not sure how much of a vote loser it would be, but they need to address this in the next election cycle.

    • Bearded Git 18.2

      If in 2023 labour get 37% and the greens get 10% they will be in the cabinet. It's that simple.

  19. Christopher Randal 19

    Delahunty et al may find that they don't get selected as candidates in 2023.

    Beware the law of unintended consequences!

  20. Alan 20

    I agree with Corey Humm.

    The hard left within the Greens could admit that their Trojan Horse exercise within the Green Party has not quite worked.

    They could admit that Jim Anderton is still their real hero.

    They could lay out their agenda, have the courage of their convictions and go it alone.

    People would respect that, whereas the current situation looks bit of a mess.- too may agendas.

    • newsense 20.1

      Remember when we had Jim Anderton and we got Kiwibank. And his last campaign focus was to be cheaper dentistry? Wouldn’t hurt to have someone representing these kinds of impulses in parliament under a banner that wasn’t a broad church, but simply stood for making those at the bottom better off through cheaper and better access to necessities, equitable access to education, housing and fair pay and conditions at work.

      Actually props to Labour on the fair pay thing…and bits of the others…

  21. Peter 21

    Trav Maschewski, one who voted against Shaw's re-election said they wanted a "more engaged, sustainable impact for the climate and a more progressive leader."

    In reality they need someone who can achieve a more engaged sustainable impact for the climate from the opposition benches. That's where they'll be

  22. Ad 22

    Good to see James Shaw is back and challenging for the leadership.

    • Chess Player 22.1

      Yes – and I guess if there is another contender, this will flush them out quickly.

      Sensible move for him to stake his claim quickly so there's no vacuum – that would just allow someone who wants the job, but wants to appear as 'reluctant', to say they will step in without them appearing to be behind the show of no confidence.

    • Patricia Bremner 22.2

      yes Agree Ad. Good points Chess Player.

  23. Jimmy 23

    "However, Green MP Chloe Swarbrick has not yet spoken publicly about the issue and her colleague Elizabeth Kerekere has said she is considering her options."

    Surely Elizabeth wouldn't seriously think she could beat James in a vote?

    PM Jacinda Ardern to talk about foot and mouth, Green Party troubles and Three Waters at press conference – NZ Herald

    • weka 23.1

      Doesn't matter, it's an opportunity to discuss the issues and build skills.

      Swarbrick has since said she's not standing.

      • Jimmy 23.1.1

        Then it's pretty much a non-event now then and James will continue as co leader surely.

        • weka

          if you want to understand what is going on, you need to listen to what the Greens are saying.

          • RedLogix

            Yeah we did listen. The Greens Constitution makes it clear that straight white males need not apply for the job.

            You should be pleased.

            • weka


            • Muttonbird

              Not correct because a straight white male has been in the co-leader role since the Green Party has had leaders and it is more than likely one will continue to be co-leader for the foreseeable.

              Sexual orientation doesn't come into it.

              These are the current allowable permutations:

              Two female. One must be Maori.

              One male, one female. One must be Maori

              One non-binary/transgender, one female. One must be Maori.

              • RedLogix

                Sexual orientation doesn't come into it.

                Do you even listen to what you say?

                • Muttonbird

                  Not sure what your issue is (apart from the well documented obvious). You said straight white males are not welcome. I said sexual orientation is not relevant.

                  • RedLogix

                    If you want to claim that non-binary/transgender, one female has nothing to do with sexual orientation – then have it your way.

                    I guess this is what you get when categories are all oppressive and words mean whatever you want.

                    • arkie

                      words mean whatever you want

                      Perhaps like when you claim The Greens Constitution makes it clear that straight white males need not apply for the job when it doesn’t?


                      Stop letting your feelings trump the facts.

                    • RedLogix

                      You just referenced a 40 page document. Which 'fact' did you have in mind?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Um, sexual orientation refers to the orientation of your sexuality as in what you are attracted to sexually. It has nothing to do with what you personally have under the bonnet or don't as the case may be.

                    • RedLogix


                      Yeah I get that biological sex, gender and sexual orientation have all been sliced and diced into a fashionably fluid woke word salad of meanings – but frankly most people don't care.

                      They read the rules and come to much the same conclusion I do.

                    • arkie

                      I referenced the document that you claim makes it clear that straight white males need not apply for the job. As you made the claim, without citation, I did some of your homework for you. If it does, in fact, make it clear then it shouldn't be hard for you to show us where exactly.

                      But it doesn't, you just feel that it does. That's feelings over facts.

              • weka

                you're spoiling Red's story with facts.

              • felix

                "One non-binary/transgender, one female. One must be Maori."

                That permutation is already covered as it can't consist of anything other than one of the previous two permutations.

      • Robert Guyton 23.1.2


        After the re-opening of nominations for Green Party Co-leader on Saturday, there has been a lot of speculation. What happened at our AGM was unprecedented and I, like all of our Green MPs, wanted to respect the process and take time to reflect and listen. That reflection will continue in the coming days and weeks.

        I am not in the running for the Co-Leadership. Thank you to all of the lovely and kind people who’ve expressed their confidence in me. I will continue my work as Auckland Central’s MP, in my Parliamentary portfolios and on Finance and Expenditure committee. Party process is that MPs do not endorse any candidates who put themselves forward."


  24. observer 24

    A pretty safe bet in NZ politics is to find out what Bryce Edwards reckons, and expect the opposite. His predictions in 2020 were hilariously wrong (Nats revival, Ardern in trouble, etc).

    He's true to form today.


    Chloe to stand for leader, then. "The leadership is clearly hers for the taking". Well, if you say so, Bryce.

    • weka 24.1

      only made it through the first third. Some particularly bad takes.

      Swarbrick has said now that she's not standing/

    • Muttonbird 24.2

      A petition needs to be started to have VUW take their branding off Dr. Bryce's partisan blog.

      • newsense 24.2.1

        Apparently someone said that it wasn’t core University business? And actually there may be other funders?

        I just assumed it was something like commissioned work for the University. The University logo is literally the first thing on the page. Plus the serious sounding moniker ‘the democracy Project’ or whatever it is.

    • Muttonbird 24.3

      It's hilarious, isn't it? Don't listen to Marama Davidson and Jacinda Ardern, or the GP caucus and 70% of the delegates who voted. Don't listen to any politicians or supporters from Labour or National about James Shaw.

      But do listen to David Farrar, Matthew Hooton, and Claire Trevett. Do listen to 32 stroppy, sandal-wearing activists, Sue Bradford, and the other bitter former Green MPs.

      Does political analyst, Dr Bryce realise James Shaw has increased GP support since the 2020 election?

      • weka 24.3.1

        Yeah, nah, getting sick of this whole Shaw as saviour thing. There are two coleaders, and a strong caucus. An exec and people active in local branches. Everyone including Shaw helped increase the party vote.

        • Muttonbird

          Well, he has been co-leader and CC Minister while this miraculous lift in support has occurred despite some "people active in local branches" wanting to see the back of him.

          Who knows, perhaps Chloe Swarbrick is responsible as David Farrar and Bryce Edwards want us to believe.

          • weka

            It's not a miraculous lift in support, it's within the normal range of GP polling historically. Labour coming off their 2020 high is part of it, people wanting more progress shifting back to the Greens. Different MPs have been speaking in public on various issues in that time.

            • Belladonna

              Thought this was a really interesting piece of info on the current Green polling – even though it comes from an article jammed full of speculation – this seemed like a nugget of actual data.

              The Party's polling firm, The Navigators, polls for core vote, which is people who say they will only ever vote Green, voters who sit on the fence, and voters who are "available", which are people who are considering voting Green.

              The Party's "core" vote has doubled from a previous low, and the party's "available" vote is higher than at any point since Jacinda Ardern became Labour leader.


              • newsense

                I mean…nice, but most people say they will never vote Trump, Bush and perhaps even Winston and nekminnit.

                The polls at the elections are the important ones.

                It’s interesting to me that the way this thread and much of the coverage has focused on the narrow political processes being played out.

                We haven’t seen any polling on, for example, who believes that climate change is impacting us currently, will impact us more and more and who believes we are doing enough to counteract it. Who believes that they won’t be impacted severely by climate change in the next 15 years. The Australian public seems to, at least in numerous electorates, have got the message.

                The Greens are not pitching to a relatively static situation. They are looking at an increasingly urgent crisis whose results are apparent now.

                They are looking across the Tasman where climate change action groups have been influential political funders in many previously safe seats.

                The chance to get information to people across the spectrum who are nervous about climate change requires a good communicator in the lead up to the next election.

                The Greens played an important part in changing the conversation before the 2017 election, to focus on child poverty, solo parenting and the difficulties at the bottom end of society.

                Here they’ve grabbed attention again, but we’ll have to wait to see how this moment ends up playing out.

                You could be right, as all the political punditry and commentators are that the Greens are entitled to somewhere between 4-12% max and having someone who can brandish banking experience and youthful friendship with the PM might help them hit the upper bracket and, all going to plan, have more sway in the next government. Operation avoid green panic.

                But it is also fair to expect the Greens leader and Climate Change Minister to be held to account for what is happening and not happening now.

                How much cut through is there in the understanding of climate issues? Who’s responsible for communicating about climate issues and getting the public informed and prepared?

                I guess that’s perhaps what that available metric is looking at.

                • Incognito

                  There are tonnes of polls on CC!? It is definitely on people’s minds. It’s not just a hobby project of a few ‘fringe nutters’ in a ‘hard-Left’ party.

              • weka

                fuck, getting the point where the Herald paywall is a problem.

                On the bit you quoted, I'd want to know how that core support compares to pre-Ardern eras. If it's increased over historic highs, that's very good news for the Greens.

                The others, I would expect that to have risen as the shine goes off Ardern simply because of time, as well as the post pandemic response shift. But also good news.

                Trick is how the Greens can maintain that. It's the voters who go back to Labour easily that are the problem I think. eg the rise of Ardern, Labour's early pandemic response giving people reassurance, even things like in the past where people freaked out Nat were going to win and thought voting Lab instead of Green would stop that (hope we're past that phase of MMP).

                • weka

                  Interesting polling though. Are the Navigators the Greens' polling firm?

                  We also need something like this,

                • Belladonna

                  Article didn't cover any of the history – or give a source for the info…..

          • weka

            despite some "people active in local branches" wanting to see the back of him.

            go on then, explain how the polled public have known about that before now.

            • Muttonbird

              They haven't, hence the reason for the lift. They know now though.

  25. Robert Guyton 25

    Bryce knows full well. His mission is to decrease GP from the public.

  26. Hayden 26

    There really needs to be an alternative to the Green Party on this side of politics. Because as good as many of their policies are, can't help but feel personally as if they can sometimes get ahead of themselves with squabbles like this that make them look fractured.

    Because currently, at the next election it's tempting to not vote/leave the ballot blank. The options feel uninspiring this time around, as the temptation of real change that positively impacts voters doesn't often come to fruition.

    Might try and start my own party, to be honest.

  27. Sacha 27

    Swarbrick is already a great leader, including respecting context and timing


    • observer 27.1

      Worth bearing in mind what happens with National leaders.

      People go into a room. Somebody comes out and says "I'm the new leader". And that's it.

      They don't even reveal how many votes were cast for the candidates. They say it's "confidential". Even RW parties overseas will share at least that much with the public (the UK Tories are doing it now).

      National are a strange outlier in the democratic world, and yet our media pretend that's all normal and the Greens are weird.

  28. Foreign waka 28

    The issue of climate change has to involve a bit more thinking and inclusion at a level that also shows compassion to those who are not able to either speak on that issue be it politically or economically, less aggression and posturing. This is not a localised phenomena, this is global. Does anybody really think we can outrun any heating up of he atmosphere by buying electric cars of which the batteries are so toxic that it needs special disposal. The children of the third world have worked at next to nothing to produce these. More consumption will not change the climate.

    This spells out what the majority of the worlds population is seeing. Because they are not part of the first world that has choices galore. Its fuel for thought.


  29. Sacha 29

    If anyone has a Herald sub, some parts of this article might be worth quoting for the rest of us:


    • Belladonna 29.1

      Hmm. Not quoting, as the article is full of "it seems", "it appears", "said to have", "according to reports", "speculated that", etc.

      Very few actual quoted sources (from people actually involved), and lots and lots of speculation about what may or may not have happened, what people were or were not thinking, and who may or may not have spoken to each other.

      • Sacha 29.1.1

        Please do. One of the only insiders talking openly on Twitter believes it is a useful article:


        • Incognito

          Sorry, but when I read this sentence I raise my Judith Collins eyebrow: The incident has shattered the veneer of relative peace and stability in the Green Party.

          • Sacha

            Gallery will gallery 🙂

          • Sacha

            Let me be more focused then: which two factions is Nippert talking about?

            • Belladonna

              So, with all of the caveats above — I think this is the relevant section in relation to the two factions:

              Two powerful groups have emerged in the contest, The Young Greens and The Green Left Network. Neither group officially backs a candidate (although The Green Left officially supports encouraging other candidates to come forward and contest the leadership).

              Each group needs to check with its members before taking a particular position on something, meaning that an official endorsement from either would be a fairly bureaucratic undertaking. However, individual members of both groups have been calling for candidates to come forward.

              It also appears the fact that members of both groups were pushing for Shaw to be deposed meant they were able to cross the crucial threshold of 25 per cent of delegate votes cast on Saturday, triggering Shaw's ousting from the leadership.

              This was not a concerted campaign from both groups together, but a coincidence that significant parts of their membership (which are not mutually exclusive) were working against Shaw at the same time.

              Note especially – that none of this is attributed in any way – the journalist may well have been interviewing his keyboard, for all we know.

              • Sacha

                Thank you. Because of Kyle's endorsement in the tweet above, I'll believe it. Not expecting anyone in the circumstances to give a journo an on-record quote when their party process requires silence.

                • Belladonna

                  Agree, but makes it very difficult for 'outsiders' to know what's an anonymous (but accurate) tip-off, and what's mischief-making.

  30. pat 30

    Reflecting upon the challenge to Shaw's position it appears to me that the issues besetting the Greens are the same issues besetting humans in general…an inherent desire for more.

    And as for humanity in general it is unlikely to achieve the hoped for outcomes.

    • roy cartland 30.1

      I was trying to think of a succinct contribution to this thread, but you've done it. This is it, exactly.

      We want the goods but focus on the squabble. Fortunately, according to George Monbiot, it doesn't take EVERYONE to reach the tipping point of climate action, just a critical minority.

      • weka 30.1.1

        there's a difference between people wanting more consumer goods, and people seeing that a massive crisis is about to happen and demanding action. Were you talking about the Young Greens, or the response to what they did from outside the party?

        it doesn't take EVERYONE to reach the tipping point of climate action, just a critical minority.

        This is one of our big hopes. Tipping points, making sure we roll in the right direction.

  31. Sacha 31

    Another Green MP not contesting the leadership (damn twittercropping – click Katie’s tweet to see it properly):


  32. Robert Guyton 32

    Chris Trotter, tireless champion for The Greens, has our backs!


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