National needs to 'change a lot' to get Greens onside - Marama Davidson

Marama Davidson has drawn a line in the sand, saying if National wants the Greens' support in a future Government, the blue team will have to "change a lot". 

Ms Davidson was revealed as the new leader of the Green Party on Sunday, comfortably beating rival Julie Anne Genter in a vote of the party's delegates.

National leader Simon Bridges said her victory represents a "real move to the left" for the Greens.

"It's a deep red rather than Green," he told The AM Show on Monday. "I'm interested in working with them on genuine conservation, environmental issues but not picketing on the streets."

He compared Ms Davidson to Metiria Turei, the former Green leader who resigned last year after admitting to historic benefit and electoral fraud.

Ms Davidson said she'd take that as a compliment, but National needs more than words to get the Greens to agree to the fabled 'teal deal'.

"They've got to change a lot. It's not good enough that Simon's trying to position himself as all of a sudden caring about our rivers and our water, when his very policies under his party led to the exact environmental degradation that we're seeing. He wanted to open up drilling to our Maui dolphins' home.

"They don't understand the connection of the flawed economic model that led to the environmental degradation in the first place. They would have to change a lot, and I don't think that's what they intend to do."

The Greens have ruled out working with National in the past, but even after signing a cooperation agreement with Labour ahead of the last election, co-leader James Shaw wouldn't rule out National altogether.

Ms Turei on the other hand was "100 percent" committed to removing National, she told Paul Henry in 2016. She resigned ahead of the 2017 election.

Marama Davidson.
Marama Davidson. Photo credit: The AM Show

Asked by host Duncan Garner if mothers ought to lie to WINZ if they're struggling to feed their kids, Ms Davidson refused to give a definitive answer.

"I'm not going to judge what people do to try and survive - I am not the person to do that," she said.

"What I am judging is, we need to fix the fact people just aren't having enough to live dignified lives on... We need to make sure we have an economic model where everybody can live in dignity."