Labour still committed to a Green-red Govt - Jacinda Ardern

Labour and the Greens say their agreement to work together to change the Government in the 2017 election still stands.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday morning she is "not bothered at all" by the Green Party decision to stand a candidate in Ōhāriu.

Questions of whether there are fractures in the Labour-Green memorandum of understanding (MOU) have been raised after a last-minute decision by the Greens to stand a candidate in Ōhāriu, and after Ms Ardern used the party's campaign launch to emphasise Labour's commitment to two traditional Green Party goals - ending child poverty and mitigating climate change.

Labour also recently announced several policies similar to those of the Green Party - a water tax, Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga rail and light rail to Auckland Airport.

But Ms Ardern says the commitment to the MOU still stands.

"The MOU is a message to voters that if we are given the opportunity we will work together in Government," Ms Ardern said, addressing media at a south Auckland school.

She said the conditions under which the Greens stepped aside have now changed, so Labour weren't surprised when the Greens decided to campaign in Ōhāriu.

"They made a decision in the first instance to step aside. Obviously the circumstances have changed, and they've looked at their position again, so no, that doesn't surprise me at all.

"We are running in that same way in every other seat in the country."

The Green Party initially agreed to not stand a candidate in Ōhāriu in order to give Labour a shot at unseating Peter Dunne, whose party United Future provides National a single supportive overhang seat in Parliament.

On The AM Show on Thursday morning, Greens co-leader James Shaw emphasised will be campaigning for the party vote, which is more effective with a strong local candidate standing in an electorate.

"We made the decision originally not to stand in Ōhāriu because that would have increased the chances of changing the Government. The conditions have changed, so we're going all out to get as many party votes as we can. 

"The more party votes we get the more Members of Parliament we get, and that means we increase the chances of changing the Government, because Labour and the Greens will be able form a coalition."

Labour and the Green Party entered the MOU back in May 2016. At the time, there was a flurry of red and green heart emojis all over the parties' social media feeds.

The first anniversary of the MOU was marked with beers and more emojis.

Since then, a few things have changed. 

The MOU was signed by Andrew Little, who is no longer Labour leader; Annette King, who is no longer deputy leader; Metiria Turei, who is no longer co-leader of the Green Party; and James Shaw, who is now sole leader of the Greens and the only remaining signatory still in leadership. 

The first electorate deal between the parties saw the Greens deciding not to run in the Mt Roskill by-election after Phil Goff stepped down to run for Auckland mayoralty. 

Newshub.

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