Dr Elizabeth Kerekere emerges as potential Greens leadership contender

An under-pressure James Shaw has confirmed he'll be in the running to continue as Greens co-leader.

Shaw says he's "quietly confident" he'll get his old job back, but there could be a contender from within his caucus - and it's not Chlöe Swarbrick.

Shaw had a spring in his step on Monday.

"I am standing to be co-leader of the Green Party," he said. 

He wants his old job back and is promising to do more than before. 

"My job is not done… If I am successful, I will redouble my efforts," Shaw said.

He has all the support he could ask for.

"An enormous amount of correspondence from up and down the country."

The Prime Minister confirmed even if Shaw loses the co-leadership, he'll stay on as Climate Change Minister. That's because his name is literally inked into the role in the Greens' cooperation deal with Labour. Shaw wants to keep that job too, even if he loses his other one.

But Shaw could have a contender from within his midst. Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, the colourful activist from Tairawhiti, is known for her love of purple, but most famous for breaking COVID-19 rules while being the Greens' COVID-19 spokesperson.

Dr Kerekere told Newshub she'll be heading back to Parliament for caucus on Tuesday and will likely be putting out a statement after that. But when asked whether she'll be running for co-leader, Dr Kerekere replied that she's "still considering my options".

She landed in Wellington on Monday night and told reporters that she hasn't decided whether she will run and is meeting with "trusted advisors" before Tuesday's caucus.

The List MP said people have asked her about running and she is "having a think about it", but doesn't want to "waste people's time" by taking too long to decide.

"An opportunity has come up. It's a bit messy, let's be honest. I am saying, is this a good time, or is it not?"

She said the party has "sent a clear message" and want some form of change, but that may not be a change of leadership.

"I actually hope that some people do stand, even who are not MPs. I think that the people who made these votes, if they have got something to say, it is important that they say that."

Shaw has been a "good, solid co-leader", she said, but the party's processes allow members to raise issues and ask questions. She said those backing Shaw at the AGM - about 70 percent - was "significant".

Backbencher Ricardo Menendez March isn't throwing his name in the ring, but isn't publicly backing Shaw. He says it's not the Green Party way. 

But there's been one Green who many want to know if she's keen.

Chlöe Swarbrick wasn't at her electorate office on Monday when Newshub visited and there wasn't a peep from her elsewhere until late in the afternoon when she took to Facebook to address speculation.

She said what happened at the AGM was unprecedented and she wanted to respect the process and take time to reflect and listen. She went on to say she was not running for the co-leadership.

Swarbrick told reporters on Monday night that the situation "isn't about me, this is about the Green Party". 

"As all of us have seen over the last 72 hours, we are a very unique voice in New Zealand politics and we are extremely democratic."

She said she hasn't aspired for a title or a position. Swarbrick wouldn't back anyone for the co-leadership position.

Shaw's promising not to punish any contenders.

"Have you met us?" he asked.

Leadership battles, it's how the Greens roll.