Green Party split over James Shaw handing questions to National

Green Party split over James Shaw handing questions to National

Green Party Leader James Shaw has ruffled party feathers by handing the Green's parliamentary questions to National - without consulting the membership.

He spoke about the decision on RadioLIVE Drive on Monday:

"Well we've said for many years that we felt patsy questions were a waste of everyone's time. Now that we're in Government we have the opportunity to make a small gesture about how we reform Parliamentary process."

Mr Shaw then said he made the decision without consulting party membership. When asked if they were happy with that, he replied:

"Some of them are some of them aren't, there are people who are really partisan and they're really tribal.

"I can understand why some people are annoyed but if you only believe in the principle of reforming question time when you're in Opposition and not when you're in Government then you don't really believe in the principle."

Mr Shaw emphasised that he had given the questions to the Opposition, not specifically to National.

"We are giving them to the office of the Leader of the Opposition, if Parliament had a different make up and there was someone else in Opposition, they'd be the recipient."

Former Green Party MP David Clendon told Newshub Nation that he understands Mr Shaw's decision but he disagrees with it, and he isn't alone in that.

"Personally I don't think it was a positive call," he said.

"From what I've seen there's as many people unhappy with the announcement as happy."

Mr Clendon said the Green Party is under "no obligation to ask just patsy questions" and that keeping their questions would allow the Greens to maintain some visibility and relevance in Parliament.

He pointed to issues like the CPTPP and oil exploration as areas where the Greens could push Labour with "sensible, penetrating questions" to produce more fruitful discussion.

"The profile of the Greens is certainly not going to be enhanced by just stepping aside."

Newshub Nation.

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