'Conditions have changed' - Shaw on surprise Ōhāriu decision

  • 24/08/2017

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says a change in New Zealand's political climate is behind the party's decision to put up a candidate in Ōhāriu.

The party had previously promised not to stand in the electorate to help Labour candidate Greg O'Connor's chances, but Mr Shaw says that has all changed with Peter Dunne pulling out of the race.

The party announced it would stand Tane Woodley in Ōhāriu on Wednesday night.

Appearing on The AM Show Thursday morning, Party co-leader James Shaw explained why the Greens had a change of heart.

"The conditions have changed," he said. "The primary purpose of not standing Tane in Ōhāriu was to ensure that someone could beat Peter Dunne, because Peter Dunne was an overhang seat that counted for National."

"Peter has decided not to stand at this election... so we're just going to treat Ōhāriu like we treat every other electorate in the country and stand a candidate." 

While the Party had supported Mr O'Connor in the past, his "free-run" has been effectively revoked by Mr Dunne's sudden resignation.

Mr Shaw was tight-lipped when asked by AM Show host Duncan Garner whether this decision was run past Labour, in line with their Memorandum of Understanding.

"We let them know," he said.

Mr Shaw endorsed his candidate, but emphasised that the most important vote is the Party vote.

"The conditions have changed so we're going all out to get as many party votes as we can," he said. 

"The more party votes that the Green Party has, the more Members of Parliament we've got, and what that means is we increase the chances of changing the Government."

Despite the tense interview, the party leader and television host continued a lighter conversation online.