Greens Co-Leader James Shaw Resigns

Default Profile ImageBen O'Connell
Greens co-leader

James Shaw announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down from his role as co-leader of the Green Party in March.

He entered the Beehive in 2014 as a List MP, eventually climbing the ranks to co-lead the Greens alongside Marama Davidson. He was co-leader of the Greens for almost nine years.

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 said in a statement.

I’m very proud of what the Green Party has achieved over the last eight years.

Shaw said he’s proud of his role as the architect of the country’s landmark climate change legislation, the Zero Carbon Act.

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 1.5’C target in national legislation, Shaw said.

It is especially gratifying to see the Zero Carbon Act survive its first change of government. New Zealand can be proud that it has an enduring climate change framework.

In favour of his Members Bill, which would add a new provision to the Bill of Rights Act declaring that everyone has a right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, Shaw said he would stay in Parliament. 

The first reading of the bill, presented to Parliament in December, has not yet occurred.

New co-leader nominations will open on Wednesday and close on 14 February. The new leadership team will be announced on 10 March.

The likes of Green MPs Chloe Swarbrick and Teanau Tuiono are rumoured possible replacements.

The Future of the Green Party

A new leader might mean a new direction for the Greens. Shaw resigned as the party is now in opposition, so this next political phase will be regrouping to participate in the next Government.

How the party handles the transition and positions itself under new leadership will influence its performance in upcoming elections. The Greens will be re-evaluating their stances and dynamics behind the scenes amid this news.

If the Green Party is part of a coalition government, a change in leadership could affect its relationship with coalition partners. The new leader’s approach to collaboration and negotiation with other parties could influence the dynamics of the coalition, whoever that will be.

Selecting a new leader can also bring to light any internal issues within the party, such as the inclusivity of its decision-making processes or the representation of diverse voices within the party.

As if James Shaw’s resignation isn’t enough media attention, Golriz Ghahraman’s public profile and how she engages with the media and the public during this period can influence the Green Party’s image. Time will tell what the future of the Greens holds.