James Shaw emerges from Green party 'reset' meeting

Follow Newshub's live updates as the fallout from Metiria Turei's resignation and the explosive Newshub-Reid Research poll results continues.

4:45pm - The New Zealander of the Year Awards office has just announced that there has been a surge in nominations for Metiria Turei for the 2018 award, following her resignation last night. 

The nominations for the award close on September 18, and a shortlist of ten people will be announced in December.

3:30pm - Labour water spokesperson David Parker has hit back at claims from Winston Peters that the party's water policy would send cabbage prices soaring.

"The NZ First example of $18 cabbages was amusing. That would imply about one million litres of irrigation per watery cabbage," he said in Parliament this afternoon. 

2:20pm - Green MP Julie Anne Genter, who is now number 3 on the party's list behind Marama Davidson and James Shaw, did not want to answer questions on whether she'd seek to be the new co-leader.

"It is way too early to ask that question. We are all totally focussed on working together as a team, backing up James and fighting for the issues that Metiria raised," she said.

"Don't even think about asking me that until after the election."  

2:10pm - Green MP Kennedy Graham is applying to the Green party executive to be re-admitted into the party caucus, after he quit in protest earlier this week over Metiria Turei's benefit fraud admission.

After Ms Turei's resignation last night, it seems Mr Graham has had a change of heart. Co-leader James Shaw says it would be "difficult" for Mr Graham to come back but it wasn't up to him to decide. "The view of caucus would be that it would be tough for him to come back, but that is a decision for the executive," Mr Shaw said.

Meanwhile Green MP David Clendon, who quit alongside Mr Graham over the benefit fraud admission, has no intention of seeking to re-enter the caucus. He'll be leaving Parliament at the election.

"I've sort of taken too many steps towards the exit to come back in," Mr Clendon said.

"I have some regrets about not doing another term, but I'm ready to just draw a line under it and go and find something else interesting to do."  

2:05pm - Green leader James Shaw has just come out of a 'reset' meeting and says the party is "taking stock" on how to proceed with its campaigning over the next few weeks, including discussing changes to its campaign branding.

He says he's not worried about the polls and is "very confident" that the party can beat its 2014 election result. "We've actually been on lower polls closer to the election in previous elections, and then gone on to have our highest result ever," he said.

Mr Shaw said the party saw donations coming in after Metiria Turei's resignation last night, but he wouldn't disclose how much. 

He wouldn't comment on who might replace Ms Turei as co-leader, saying that is a matter to be dealt with after the election.

1:05pm - New Zealand First says Labour's water policy will see cabbages cost $18.

Winston Peters says it's like a "speed camera on healthy food".

"Potatoes could go from just under $3 a kilogram to just under $9."

Winston Peters.
Winston Peters. Photo credit: Getty

But the scheme has been welcomed by Māori - RNZ reports local iwi are looking forward to the royalties it would bring.

"Our argument has always been that our hapū are the guardians of those springs [and] we should have the right to talk for it and to be sitting at the decision-making table," said Taipari Munro, who chairs a trust that owns a spring near Whangarei. 

12:55pm - Anti-mining group Kiwis Against Seabed Mining is dead-set against the south Taranaki proposal, which got approval today.

So is Forest and Bird, which says the proposal puts critically endangered species at risk.

"We know this area is home to critically endangered blue whales, possibly one of only five known in the Southern Hemisphere outside of Antarctica," says chief conservation adviser Kevin Hackwell.

"It's also habitat for at least a further 33 species of marine mammals, including Hector's and Māui dolphins, and an important migratory corridor for humpback whales."

12:45pm - Jacinda Ardern has told students at Morrinsville College when she attended the school, she succesfully won the right for female students to wear pants.

12:35pm - The Taxpayers' Union claims Labour's water policy will cost families between $28 and $56 a week in increased grocery costs.

"Yesterday, Federated Farmers said this tax could cripple regional economies. They appear to be right. But the policy will hit low-income families struggling to afford fruit and vegetables the most," said executive director Jordan Williams. 

Bottlers would be charged per litre for the water they bottle and per 1000 litres of water used for irrigation. The cost won't be decided until after the election, and after discussion with experts.

12:20pm - There has been chatter on Twitter this week about whether this election campaign has already hit "peak cray", and how it compares to 2014. Well, how's this for a comparison - it was three years ago today that Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics blew that election campaign into the stratosphere. The Spinoff wraps up where the big names of that scandal are now.

12:13pm - Green MP Gareth Hughes says they'll stop the approved mining in south Taranaki if elected.

12:02pm - Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has been greeted at her old high school, Morrinsville College.

12pm - ACT's taken a shot at Labour's water policy, saying the Government's lack of action has "allowed Labour to fill a political void".

"National could have pre-empted Labour’s announcement with a water policy that protected both the environment and farmers," ACT's David Seymour said in a statement.

"Instead, their complacency has led to farmers being threatened with punitive, politically-determined charges that will flow on to consumers too."

Agricultural expert Dr James Lockhart has some problems with the policy too, as he outlined on The AM Show.

11:45am - Metiria Turei remains listed on the Greens' website as co-leader, nearly 20 hours after she quit. The slow response is in stark contrast to what happened when Kennedy Graham and David Clendon quit - they were gone within a matter of hours.

The Green Party website still lists Metiria as co-leader.
The Green Party website still lists Metiria as co-leader. Photo credit: Newshub.

Meanwhile, the Greens have announced if elected they'll push for a royal commission of inquiry into the Resource Management Act (RMA) and other environmental legislation.

"The RMA was ground-breaking in its time but since then, more of our birds are closer to extinction, climate and water pollution have increased, and our cities are more clogged with cars. It’s time to do things differently," said MP Eugenie Sage.

11:35am - The Environmental Protection Agency has approved an application from Trans-Tasman Resources to mine off the south Taranaki coast, after turning down an earlier application by the same company.

Could this be the issue that regenerates the Green base?

10:55am - If Jacinda Ardern becomes Prime Minister, she's open to Fat Freddy's Drop playing her inauguration party.

She first saw the Wellington dub legends perform at The Matterhorn, but thinks it could be tricky to get them on stage at Parliament.

"I don't know if Parliament's grounds are large enough tohost every past, present and current band member from Fat Freddy's Drop," she said in a Facebook Live broadcast on Wednesday night.

10:45am - Labour's water policy is a "wrecking ball" that could "hobble New Zealand", says National MP Jonathan Young.

The New Plymouth MP told the Taranaki Daily News charging commercial users of the country's water would result in higher prices for milk, fruit and vegetables.

Labour says the money raised will be used to preserve waterways, restoring many of them to a swimmable standard.

10:35am - Everyone knows we can always rely on Newshub political editor Patrick Gower for a good election countdown, but Labour campaign manager Andrew Kirton is taking no chances - setting up his own clock, which measures it down to the second.


10:30am - United First leader Peter Dunne has hit out at Jacinda Ardern, saying her first week as leader has been "style more than substance".

"The Labour Party has replaced a grim and dour leader New Zealanders would never have made their Prime Minister with someone more telegenic and permanently smiling who is likely to staunch the bleeding of Labour’s wounds," he wrote on his blog, Dunne Speaks.

"Whether she can, or will or be acceptable as a potential  Prime Minister remains to be seen."

He also hit out at Metiria Turei, calling her welfare fraud admission "truly bizarre" and condemning her "defiant and smug arrogance" since.

But Labour wouldn't be doing any better siding with NZ First, said Mr Dunne, calling their caucus "the most singularly uninspiring and inept to have been in Parliament for a while".

"Expect National and its allies to continue to try sailing in the smooth waters of competence, reliability and experience."

9:50am - Newshub has crunched the numbers for the Greens, and here's who'd get in based on their current polling: 

  • James Shaw (Wellington Central)
  • Marama Davidson (Tamaki Makaurau)
  • Julie Anne Genter (Mt Albert)
  • Eugenie Sage (Port Hills)
  • Gareth Hughes (East Coast)
  • Jan Logie (Mana)
  • Kennedy Graham (North Shore) 
  • Chlöe Swarbrick (Maungakiekie)
  • Golriz Ghahraman (Te Atatu)
  • Mojo Mathers (Rangitata)
  • Barry Coates (Epsom)

If Kennedy Graham successfully argues his way back onto the list at number eight, former Oxfam head Barry Coates would miss out.

9:10am - Political pundits on both sides of the fence are picking Jacinda Ardern to be New Zealand's next Prime Minister.

"The most likely outcome of the election at this point is a Labour-NZ First coalition, without the Greens having any role whatsoever," right-leaning commentator Matthew Hooten told The AM Show.

He said Ms Ardern "boldfully and skilfully" threw the Greens under the bus by ruling Metiria Turei out of a ministerial spot, at the same time putting distance between the two loose allies.

Mr Hooten also said the Greens badly miscalculated the level of support Ms Turei has outside of their own bubble.

"Greens and the Green MPs have been looking at their Twitter feeds and they've been seeing what they believe are vast numbers of people supporting Metiria Turei with the hashtag #IAmMetiria and thought, 'Ah! The public is behind us.' Well, they're not."

Matthew Hooton and Chris Trotter.
Matthew Hooton and Chris Trotter. Photo credit: The AM Show

On the left, commentator Chris Trotter said the Greens could have polled over 10 percent without the risky admission from Ms Turei - but instead they pushed their "revolutionary fervour" too far.

"James Shaw has his work cut out for him, I'm afraid," he told The AM Show.

Good thing Labour has momentum, as they might have to get into Parliament without the Greens. As Mr Hooton pointed out, the Newshub-Reid Research polling was completed before Ms Turei announced her resignation.

"Jacinda is not our Jeremy Corbyn, but she just might be a Justin Trudeau," said Mr Trotter.

8:50am - The AM Show's poll this morning - Is Jacinda Ardern too inexperienced to be the next Prime Minister? - is 56 percent to 44 in favour of no.

Ms Ardern has been in Parliament nine years. In comparison, John Key had only six years' experience before becoming Prime Minister, and Bill English, 26.

8:40am - The Greens are confident they can recover their lost vote.

Two polls released in the past 24 hours have put them on 8 percent, but Green Party co-convener Debs Martin told Newshub they'll do fine.

"James is very much a strong leader for the party, and that's the benefit of our co-leadership - if something does happen, the other is obviously able to carry on and represent the party well."

James Shaw believes the party's "natural" share of the vote is about 10 or 11 percent, and expects at least that come election day in six weeks' time.

8:30am - One of the two Green MPs who resigned from the party over Metiria Turei's benefit fraud could be un-resigning now that she's on her way out.

Kennedy Graham and David Clendon withdrew from the party's list in protest earlier this week, but the former is now reconsidering his position.

Mr Clendon apparently has no intention to return, but Dr Graham is talking to the party's national executive.

Kennedy Graham and David Clendon.
Kennedy Graham and David Clendon. Photo credit: File

On Monday, Green Party leader James Shaw said the pair had "betrayed" the party. On Thursday morning he told RNZ it could take time for the party to welcome Dr Graham back.

"It's a matter for the party executive [but] I think it would be very tough for either Dave or Kennedy to come back into caucus at the moment - there's a lot of raw feeling about the events of Monday."

Dr Graham and Mr Clendon's profiles were quickly scrubbed from the Green Party website.