16 Aug 2019

Three's a crowd? | James Shaw full interview

From Morning Report, 7:00 am on 16 August 2019

Green Party's James Shaw talks to political reporter Jo Moir about being in government and looking ahead to the 2020 election.

James Shaw at the Greens headquarters in Auckland.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Greens' co-leader James Shaw is frank about the best outcome for his party - a progressive coalition government with Labour, and NZ First nowhere in sight.

But Mr Shaw has his own problems to deal with from within his own party and criticisms of being too centrist.

Both Green Party candidate Jack McDonald and former Green MP Sue Bradford have hit out at Mr Shaw for moving the party away from its roots; he admits those comments hurt more when they come from people he respects.

When you work with and build up relationships with people over a number of years, he said, you assume "you're all pulling in the same direction" but that hasn't been the case.

"This was always going to be a risk in our first term of government, that as a support party with only eight MPs we'd only be able to make so much progress, which means compromise, and to some people that feels like a move to the centre.

"But I think we're punching way above our weight class, so I disagree,'' he said.