Fitzsimons 'enormously proud' of new-generation Greens

  • 22/10/2017

A former Green Party co-leader has high hopes the MPs who made it to office will do great things.

Four Green MPs will receive ministerial and associate positions, and will take on portfolios including climate change and conservation, after striking a confidence-and-supply deal with the NZ First-Labour coalition.

Climate change and associate finance are both expected to go to Greens leader James Shaw. The Greens will also have the conservation, women and land information portfolios, and associate roles in environment, transport and health.

They will fill a newly created undersecretary role, focused on sexual and domestic violence. All the positions sit outside Cabinet.

Jeanette Fitzsimons, who led the party for 14 years but never made it into Government, says the party might have dropped from 14 to eight MPs but that hasn't hampered opportunities.

"It's going to be a huge job for our eight MPs, but I know them and I know they're up for it, and I'm enormously proud of them."

The Greens' vote peaked in 2011 at 11 percent. They got 10.7 percent in 2014, but support cratered this year to 6.3 percent, with most of the blame placed on former co-leader Metiria Turei's admission of historic welfare fraud.

Ms Fitzsimons says their success in post-election negotiations is great for the party that only received 6.3 percent of the vote.

"I think we have a significant slice of Government action to take forward."

And despite quitting Parliamentary politics in 2010, she's keen to get stuck in again.

"I'm keen to help the new ministers in any way that I can, and a lot of us in the party are. So of course, I'm personally and politically delighted."