Shaw confirms run for Greens co-leadership, despite weekend ousting

By Will Trafford

Green Party co-leader James Shaw. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Ousted Green party co-leader James Shaw says he will stand in the race for the party’s co-leadership, despite being dropped by its members over the weekend.

Shaw failed to get the 75 per cent of votes needed during the party’s annual meeting, while co-leader Marama Davidson (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Porou) was reconfirmed.

"I’m not done," Shaw said at a press conference this morning.

"The climate crisis is unabated and we have a lot more work to do as a country there. We have huge wealth concentrations and people who are locked out of housing ... and as long as those kinds of challenges are there, they need the Green Party more than ever," he told RNZ.

Rumours have swirled since Shaw’s ousting that Auckland Central MP Chloe Swarbrick could challenge Shaw in the leadership race.

Historically, the Greens have had two co-leaders, one male and one female, but in May 2022, members voted to change the co-leadership model, now requiring one female leader and one leader of any gender.

The party’s constitution requires one leader must be Māori.

Shaw said he would re-double his efforts on poverty and the environment, to appease party members, saying government work can be "glacially slow".

The former co-leader said he envisaged the Greens again forming a government with Labour during the 2023 elections, with him in the co-leader position.

He would not be drawn on the potential of Swarbrick challenging him in the leadership race, saying those were discussions for caucus members.

“I’m in it to win it,” Shaw said.

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