24 Aug 2017

VIDEO: James Shaw on Greens rejoining the race in Ōhāriu

8:16 am on 24 August 2017

The Green Party's last-minute decision to stand a candidate in the Ōhāriu electorate doesn't affect their wider deal to work with Labour, says leader James Shaw.

Watch Green Party leader James Shaw speaking to Morning Report's Susie Ferguson:

In February, the Greens pledged not to stand a candidate in the electorate to give Labour's Greg O'Connor a better chance of beating the incumbent, Peter Dunne.

But after Mr Dunne's sudden move not to seek re-election, the Greens have rejoined the race, selecting Johnsonville local Tane Woodley to campaign for the party vote.

Mr Shaw said with United Future leader Peter Dunne as MP, Ōhāriu had been an overhang seat that counted for National, and it was important to unseat its support partner.

"We decided to step back in order to defeat Peter Dunne. Now Peter's decided to no longer stand the conditions have changed."

The move wouldn't affect the party's memorandum of understanding with Labour "in the slightest".

Green Party candidates in almost all electorates were campaigning for the party vote, he said, other than in Nelson where Matt Lawrey was working to unseat National's Nick Smith.

"There are only two parties that have said they want to change the government - that is the Labour Party and the Green Party."

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