24 Sep 2017

Greens involvement needed to ensure next government 'lasts the distance' - Shaw

4:50 pm on 24 September 2017

Green Party leader James Shaw will push hard to be involved with any negotiations between Labour and New Zealand First.

Watch Green Party leader James Shaw speak to the media.

Following yesterday's election, both National and the Labour Party will be hoping to talk to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, as he decides which party should lead the next government.

Mr Shaw said he would not take a back seat in any negotiations and expects to be a full partner in any deal between Labour and New Zealand First.

The three parties just need to get in a room and talk, he said.

"I would completely expect Labour to take a lead in negotiations, and initially have series of one-on-one conversations, but we don't know what the process is yet."

Mr Shaw expected a phone call from Labour leader Jacinda Ardern today.

The Green Party had to be involved in talks to ensure the next government would "last the distance", he said.

"In my view, that is more likely in a full coalition, where we're colleagues and we work together on a common programme for government, rather than a minority government that has to go to the cross benches to get every vote passed," he said.

Mr Shaw said he would be in contact with Mr Peters some time in the next few days.

Despite some reports National would work with the Greens, Mr Shaw has ruled out that possibility and said he has not received a call from Bill English, nor would he call the National Party leader.

"I've always said my goal was to change the government, and to form a new coalition government with the Labour Party afterwards, that's what I'm working on and I think that possibility remains very real today, and even more so once the special votes are being counted," Mr Shaw said.

Up to 15 percent of the vote have yet to be counted, and Mr Shaw said he was confident that would provide his party with an extra seat.

James Shaw at media stand up day after the election

James Shaw: sad to see the Māori Party knocked out. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

"We only need to get 0.13 percent of the special vote in order for Golriz [Ghahraman] to get in. So she'll be in Parliament, and I'm really excited about that."

There are now two fewer parties in Parliament after both the Māori Party and United Future failed to secure an elecorate seat or reach the 5 percent threshold.

Mr Shaw said it was sad to see the Māori Party knocked out.

"I have a great deal of respect for the work that they do, for the voice they provided in Parliament, I would have preferred to see them stay in."

In contrast, when Mr Shaw was asked how he felt about Gareth Morgan's Opportunity Party not getting in, he said he had "no opinion".

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