Rival MP praises Shaw as the 'sanest' amid Greens leadership saga

Source: 1News

Opposition MPs are among those singing James Shaw's praises as the ousted Green Party co-leader fights to get his position back.

It comes as Green Party delegates opened up Shaw's role for nominations over the weekend, with a faction within the party believing he hadn't taken enough action on climate change.

National leader Christopher Luxon said Shaw was a "constructive parliamentarian" in his climate change work.

"James Shaw is someone I respect a lot. I consider him a friend," he said.

"I've always appreciated his collaborative approach and the way he works to get cross-party consensus."

Luxon said it was ultimately up to the Greens to decide who they wanted as their co-leaders.

"I'm just acknowledging that I think he's a good guy," Luxon said of Shaw.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw.

Meanwhile, ACT leader David Seymour said he felt sorry for Shaw.

"It's hard for many people to believe, but he's the sanest among them. Yet the Green Party's immune system is rejecting him."

Labour's Willie Jackson said his message to Shaw was "kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui".

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said it wasn't her place to give her opinion about what the Greens needed.

She added, however, that no matter who the Climate Change Minister was, her party would keep fighting for them to do more.

"They definitely need to be doing more in that space and be a lot more assertive."

READ MORE: Candidates who could replace Shaw as Greens co-leader stay silent

On Monday, Shaw confirmed he would run for his old position.

Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick ruled herself out of contention to be Green Party co-leader on Monday night. MP Ricardo Menendez-March did the same and backed others to run if they wished.

Speaking at Wellington Airport on Monday evening, MP Elizabeth Kerekere said she was yet to make a decision given the "messy" situation. By Tuesday morning, the MP, who identified herself and colleague Teanau Tuiono as being "more on the activist side of the [party's] membership", ruled out running.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Tuiono hadn't yet ruled out having a tilt at the co-leadership.

Menendez-March, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman and co-leader Marama Davidson said it wasn't for them to say what Tuiono's plans were.

The trio were hesitant to explicitly back any particular candidate on Tuesday, saying the party needed to go through its own process.

Of the 107 delegates who voted at Saturday's Green AGM, 75 supported Shaw and 32 voted to re-open nominations. Davidson said the result had made MPs take serious stock and reflect on whether they were holding up the Greens' kaupapa.

She said she hadn't spoken to all of the delegates since the AGM. But, she added the concerns they'd raised weren't being dismissed.

"We've known and engaged with concerns, obviously, about taking strong action on climate change… we all want to go harder and stronger on climate change action."

MP Eugenie Sage backed Shaw's track record on the climate while wanting the party to go through its leadership process.

She pointed to the founding of the independent Climate Change Commission and improvements to the Emissions Trading Scheme.

She said some areas needed to be accelerated - like the He Waka Eke Noa partnership with the agricultural sector - but now there was a framework.

"James has ensured that there is a stable framework for action on climate change that will outlast this Government."