Election 2023: Green Party's internal polling shows 1-in-3 voters interested in their policies

The Green Party is promising a standalone Ministry of Climate Change if successful at the election.

On the final day of the party's annual meeting, co-leader Marama Davidson revealed one-in-three voters like what they're hearing from the Greens, according to their own internal research.

Davidson walked onto the stage on Sunday to applause, hugs and smiles. The Greens were out in force in a display of unity at their annual general meeting. 

"I know Aotearoa needs our solutions!" Davidson proclaimed. 

They're putting behind them the resignation of Dr Elizabeth Kerekere in May, who was accused of calling fellow MP Chlöe Swarbrick a crybaby in a group chat. 

The party is now filled with green ambition to expand its voter base.

"Our research shows that right now, one in three people across Aotearoa are looking at our values, our policies, and our record of delivery in Government and liking what they see," Davidson told the crowd. 

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman told Newshub outside that the party is "just so focused on what's coming in October". 

Freshly re-elected by members, co-leaders Davidson and James Shaw delivered an election pledge from their new Green manifesto: a new Ministry of Climate Change.

"We should make it a standalone, central ministry," Shaw told Newshub. 

ACT leader David Seymour says it's unnecessary. 

"The Green Party already has the Climate Change Commission, they already have the Minister of Climate Change, they already have the Ministry for the Environment. The problem is not a lack of bureaucracy, the problem is their policies have failed," he told reporters in Tauranga. 

The Greens have also promised to ensure the Climate Change Commission is in charge of setting the supply of carbon credits in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Currently, the Government has that power. For example, in December, Cabinet rejected the Climate Change Commission's advice and opted to keep a lower price for carbon credits, because of the flow on cost to things like fuel.

"You should let the Emissions Trading Scheme do the job it's supposed to do, but you also need complementary measures to deal with the distributional impacts of that, particularly for low-income households," Shaw told Newshub. 

The Greens have also made a pledge that if they make it back into Government, they'll change the way carbon emissions are reported.

They'll stop references to 'net' emissions and instead focus on 'gross' emissions. 'Gross' is the entire amount, while 'net' takes into account deductions.

The Climate Change Commission recently said using 'gross' was a more accurate reporting method than 'net' because of the growing reliance on offsetting carbon emissions with forestry credits. 

The Greens appear to be positioning themselves as the only party willing to go the extra mile to fight climate change, to differentiate themselves from Labour ahead of the election.

Shaw said on Saturday that Labour doesn't "apply the same level of urgency" to climate change issues the way the Greens do.

In a statement, Acting Prime Minister Carmel Sepuoni told Newshub the Labour Government has "done more to fight climate change than any in New Zealand history".

The Green Party's annual general meeting was also a time for reflection. After six years in Government with Labour, what's the Green leadership's biggest regret?

"We had a real opportunity as a Government to get a capital gains tax over the line in our first term and I think having that ruled out for the entirety of Jacinda Ardern's premiership, that was a real blow," Shaw told Newshub.

Regrets aside, the Greens are charged up for the election ahead. And if their internal polling translates to votes, the co-leaders see their party going in one direction - and that's up.