Greens co-leadership: Julie Anne Genter launches campaign

Green Party Minister Julie Anne Genter has announced she's in the running for co-leadership of the party.

Ms Genter is generally regarded as a pragmatic Green politician. She has a particular focus on public transport, wrote the medicinal cannabis Bill picked up by Chloe Swarbrick and has worked behind the scenes on party strategy for several years.

Ms Genter says the party needs to win back votes lost this election. Heading into the 2017 election, the party was struck with two challenges: Labour's soaring popularity under new leader Jacinda Ardern and Metiria Turei's resignation. The Greens' party vote fell from 10.7 percent to 6.3 percent.

"This term is incredibly critical for the Green Party and it's a great opportunity for us being in Government, but also being outside Cabinet," Ms Genter told Newshub.

"It's our first opportunity to deliver on issues we've been campaigning on for a really long time. It will be our first opportunity to campaign from a position of strength."

She will be up against Green MP Marama Davidson, who announced she's in the running last Sunday. Newshub understands Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage will also contest the co-leadership.

Ms Genter has been a MP for the Greens since 2011. In the new Government, she is Minister for Women, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Transport.

So does she really want to add co-leader to that list of jobs, giving up time that could be spent cycling and seeing friends?

"I don't think it will be that much more time than what is required being a Minister and participating effectively in the party anyway," she said.

"One thing I've noticed about being a Minister is it's incredibly engaging, interesting work. It's easy to do, and you have more staff support to do it."

"It's much easier than being in Opposition."

Since Metiria Turei's resignation seven months ago, James Shaw has led the party as sole co-leader, but the Green Party constitution requires the party is led by female and male co-leaders.

The next co-leader will be decided by delegates across the country - Green Party members who represent the Greens in their electorate.

Will Ms Genters' pragmatism make it tough to win them over?

"I think those members who support me and have encouraged me to stand think it's an asset that I am able to deliver, that I'm focused on results.

"I've successfully instigated political debate on a number of issues... I have really been able to help change the debate [on transport], to the point where the National Party was trying to compete on public transport and cycling."

All candidates will be announced by February 12, with party delegates casting votes on behalf of Green members in their electorates by April 7.

The co-leader will be announced on April 8.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: