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James Shaw resigns from Greens co-leadership

Thomas Coughlan,
Publish Date
Tue, 30 Jan 2024, 11:00AM

James Shaw resigns from Greens co-leadership

Thomas Coughlan,
Publish Date
Tue, 30 Jan 2024, 11:00AM

The Green Party’s James Shaw says he will resign from his role as co-leader next month after nearly nine years in the job.

“It has been the privilege of my lifetime to serve as New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister for the last six years and as Green Party co-leader for nearly nine.

Shaw had long been expected to retire from politics once the Greens lost power and were no longer in government, which happened following the election last October. When he campaigned for the leadership in 2015, Shaw said he wanted to lead the party into government and safely out the other side. Prior to Shaw’s leadership, the party had never been in government nor had any ministers, though it had signed lower-level agreements with parties of government.



“I’m very proud of what the Green Party has achieved over the last eight years. I would like to thank Green Party members and supporters for their incredible hard work and support over that time,” Shaw said.

“In 2017, the Greens became a party of government, with ministers, for the first time. We also made political history by increasing our support at the end of each of our two terms - a feat no other government support partner had achieved,” he said.

“In Government, we passed the landmark Zero Carbon Act with unanimous support across Parliament, becoming one of the first countries in the world to place the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C target in national legislation.”

Shaw also said he was proud of last year’s historic election result, when the party won its largest-ever share of the vote and its largest caucus.

“Returning to Opposition, the Green Party now has the largest caucus of MPs we’ve ever had, including three electorates for the first time,” he said.

“It has taken many thousands of people, in all walks of life, to achieve what we have over the near-decade I’ve been co-leader, and I would like to thank every single one of you.”

Shaw said he would stay in Parliament for the time being, while his Member’s Bill, which would amend the Bill of Rights to include a right to a sustainable environment, was being debated. He is likely to leave Parliament after the bill is debated and either passes or fails.

The Greens will now kick off a leadership contest to replace Shaw. It will be the first contest since 2018, and the first contest to be held under new rules that allow someone of any gender to contest the current vacancy. Prior to the rule change, Shaw’s role would have been filled by a man. The favourite to win the contest is Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick, although any Green member, not just an MP, can run. Nominations open tomorrow and close on Wednesday, February 14.

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