Green MP James Shaw faces leadership challenge

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Green Party Co-Leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson in Wellington today (One News Photo)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, July 23, 2022

Green Party Co-Leader James Shaw must face the challenge to his leadership from the members of his Party, according to official notification.

Delegates attending the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Party in Wellington today voted to retain Marama Davidson as the Co-Leader but reopen nominations for the post of the other Co-Leader.

In terms of the provisions of the Party’s Constitution, its members elect two Co-Leaders every year at their General Meeting.

What the Party Constitution says

The notification said that as a part of the annual election of Co-Leaders, the Green Party’s Constitution allows all delegates attending the AGM to retain the option of voting to re-open nominations. When the nominations closed on June 11, 2022, there were only two nominations- that of Ms Davidson and Mr Shaw.

“Both candidates met the applicable demographic criteria (that one Co-Leader is a woman, with the other position open to a person of any gender, and that one Co-Leader is Māori. As such, there was a single election at the AGM with two options for each candidate position, namely vote for the candidate or re-open nominations,” the notification said.

The Party’s Constitution allows nominations to be re-opened if at least 25% of the valid votes cast chose that option. This threshold was surpassed at this year’s AGM for the Co-Leader position that can be filled by a person of any gender.

As a result, nominations for this position will be reopened to the membership.

Mr Shaw told the media after the AGM that he would contest the post of Co-Leader but will first find out the thinking among the members of the Party.

Shaw’s contention

“It is hard when there is a group organised against you. I have been focused on my job as Minister for Climate Change, doing what we should be doing – fighting the Climate Crisis that I did not have much time for factional organising within the Party,” he said.

Ms Davidson said that she was ‘shocked and saddened’ by the push against Mr Shaw.

Two years ago, he won the challenge round declared by fellow Party Member James Cockle who had complained that the Green Party had ‘moved too close to the centre.’

About the Green Party

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand was established in 1990, prior to which some of the founding members of the Green Party had been active members of the Values Party, the world’s first national-level environmentalist party, at the outset of the Green movement in the 1970s.

The Greens won seats as Alliance candidates in the 1993 and 1996 elections. In the 1999 election, the Green candidates gained 5.16% of the vote and seven seats in Parliament.

The Party has been growing since then securing record votes and growing into the largest consistent third-party force in New Zealand politics.

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