James Shaw resignation: Green Party faces electing new co-leader - how will it work?

  • 30/01/2024

Chlöe Swarbrick? Teanau Tuiono? Julie Anne Genter? 

Whoever throws their hat in the ring to replace James Shaw as the Greens' co-leader will have multiple hurdles to jump over, including the consensus of their fellow party members. 

The leadership will be voted on before March 10, with nominations to open on Wednesday and close on February 14, the Greens confirmed alongside Shaw's resignation statement on Tuesday. 

It's the first time the Greens will change co-leaders since Marama Davidson replaced Metiria Turei in 2018. 

Under the Greens' constitution, a special ballot must be held if a co-leader position becomes vacant more than three months out from the party's annual general meeting. 

"Green Party members will attend local meetings, where they will vote to elect a new co-leader. 

"Each branch is entitled to a certain number of votes proportionate to the number of members who live in that electorate," the Greens' statement said. 

According to the party's constitution, one of the co-leaders must be female and/or Māori - but there's no requirement for a male co-leader. Therefore, Shaw's vacation presents the very real possibility of two female co-leaders. 

James Shaw.
James Shaw resigned on Tuesday. Photo credit: Newshub.

Shaw's resignation came as the Greens settle into Opposition after six years working under Labour in Government. The party received its best-ever election result last year - 11.6 percent of the vote and 15 seats in Parliament. 

Shaw became the Greens' co-leader in 2015 after the resignation of Russel Norman. While his fellow MPs attempted to oust him twice since then, he survived both of those co-leader challenges.