Hon James Shaw, the architect of New Zealand’s landmark climate change legislation, the Zero Carbon Act, has announced that he will be stepping down as Co-leader of the Green Party in March. He will remain in Parliament for the time being to support the Bill of Rights (Right to a Sustainable Environment) Amendment Bill.
“It has been the privilege of my lifetime to serve as New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister for the last six years and as Green Party Co-leader for nearly nine. It has been an honour to serve alongside my Co-leader, Hon Marama Davidson, her predecessor Metiria Turei, and an extraordinary Caucus of Green MPs, staff, party officials and volunteers,” says James Shaw.
“I’m very proud of what the Green Party has achieved over the last eight years. I would like to thank Green Party members and supporters for their incredible hard work and support over that time.
“In 2017, the Greens became a party of government, with ministers, for the first time. We also made political history by increasing our support at the end of each of our two terms - a feat no other government support partner had achieved.
“In Government, we passed the landmark Zero Carbon Act with unanimous support across Parliament, becoming one of the first countries in the world to place the Paris Agreement’s 1.5’C target in national legislation.
“It is especially gratifying to see the Zero Carbon Act survive its first change of government. New Zealand can be proud that it has an enduring climate change framework, with long-term targets and institutions that will guide us over several decades and changes of government.
“Returning to Opposition, the Green Party now has the largest Caucus of MPs we’ve ever had, including three electorates for the first time.
“It has taken many thousands of people, in all walks of life, to achieve what we have over the near decade I’ve been Co-leader, and I would like to thank every single one of you.
“Our historic election result in 2023 ushered in a new era for the Green Party. Now is the time for a new Co-leader to work alongside Marama to take this new Caucus into the future.
“The Green Party will continue to lead the fight to stop the climate crisis, restore and protect our wildernesses and wildlife, eliminate poverty, and honour Te Tiriti,” says James Shaw.
James Shaw has been Co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand since May 2015. He served as a government minister for two terms, holding the portfolios of Climate Change (2017-2023), Statistics (2017-2020), Associate Finance (2017-2020) and Associate Environment (2020-2023).
Nominations for the role of Co-leader of the Green Party will open tomorrow, Wednesday 31 January 2024 and close on Wednesday 14 February.
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 new Co-leader is expected to be announced on 10 March.