James Shaw re-elected Green Party co-leader

Green Party delegates have voted to re-elect Climate Change Minister James Shaw as one of the party's two co-leaders.

Shaw was dropped as co-leader in July after more than 25 percent of delegates at an annual meeting voted to reopen nominations. The Greens have to re-elect their co-leaders every year.

A total of 142 delegate votes were received, 138 of which were for Shaw. 

"It is an honour and a privilege to be re-elected as Co-leader of the Green Party with the overwhelming support of our members. My attention will immediately turn to making sure the Greens are back as part of the next Government, with more Green Ministers around the Cabinet table," Shaw said. 

"Together, Marama [Davidson], the Caucus and I have a proven track record of bold and lasting change. Our combined leadership skills, particularly on climate change, inequality, and protecting nature, are unmatched by any other political party."

While a number of Green MPs openly considered running for the vacant position, Shaw was the only eventual nominee. Delegates could have voted to reopen nominations once again. To become co-leader, a nominee needs 75 percent of the votes cast.

Following the vote, Davidson said it was "great" to have Shaw back alongside her.

"Over the last five years I have seen first-hand how hard James has pushed Labour to take more radical climate action. Much like me, he gets frustrated at the slow pace of change and wants to see the Government move much faster than it is," she said

"There is one simple way we can all make sure the next Government takes more urgent action to address climate change and inequality - and that is by electing more Green MPs. James and I very much look forward to the work we and our Caucus have ahead," says Marama Davidson.

Shaw said when he announced he was running that he had correspondence from members "that has reassured me that I have the support necessary to be able to retain the leadership". He went on to say he was "quietly confident" he would be returned as co-leader.

"I am standing to lead the Green Party into the next election alongside Marama Davidson so that together, our members and supporters across the country, we can transform New Zealand and create a country that works for everyone," he told reporters in July.

Later, in a Facebook post, Shaw admitted finding it "hard to get the mix right between being a minister and a co-leader". He's been a minister in the Labour-led Government since 2017.

"I can see that I need to spend more time working on my role as co-leader. If members do choose to have me back, I will do that."

Shaw has taken a step back from his usual Greens media appearances in recent weeks while the party went through the nominations and voting process.

In the days after Shaw said he would run again for the position, MPs Elizabeth Kerekere and Teanau Tuiono both said they were considering putting themselves forward. Both eventually decided against it.