James Shaw's address to Parliament on Tuesday indicates that he and fellow Green co-leader Marama Davidson have failed to take on board the growing criticisms of their performance by Green Party members.
FOR DISGRUNTLED Green Party members and ex-Green MPs hoping that the present leadership would of taken on board the demand for a more combative and critical Green Party in Parliament, it would have been sorely disappointed by co-leader James Shaw's parliamentary performance on Tuesday. His opening statement for 2022 saw him endorsing the Labour Government's continuing neoliberal agenda. He even went as far as describing Jacinda Ardern as 'Supergirl' and Chris Luxon as 'Lex Luthor'. Sitting behind him, fellow co-leader Marama Davidson could be seen nodding her head in agreement throughout Shaw's address.
What will be especially galling for many Green Party members is that the Green Party leadership have, once again, endorsed the Labour Government's dismally inadequate response to climate change. Many Green Parties around the world recognise the urgent need for a fundamental transformation of their local economies and have adopted the Green New Deal to achieve that. But the New Zealand Labour Government here, backed by the Green Party, is offering little more than further tinkering to the very machine that is eating up the planet. There is zero recognition that it is our economic system, driven by the twin motors of even more growth and even more profit, that is responsible for the climate crisis we are confronted with.
But there's an arrogance to the parliamentary Green Party born of a failure of a weak and complicit Green Party executive to hold James Shaw and Marama Davidson to account for the polices they are pursuing. Without any doubt both Shaw and Davidson will continue to uphold its co-co-operation agreement with Labour which ex Green MP's Sue Bradford and Catherine Delahunty say amounts to a failure of leadership.
As RNZ reported in January, the growing discontent with Shaw and Davidson has led to the resignation of a number of Green Party activists, including former executive and policy branch members. Its unlikely that Shaw prostrating himself at the altar of the Labour Government this week will stem those resignations.