Wednesday, 07 February 2024 08:55

Outgoing Greens co-leader praised

Written by  Peter Burke
James Shaw James Shaw

Tributes from across the political divide flowed last week for James Shaw, the Green Party co-leader who has called time on his nine year political career.

He served at the party’s helm for the last eight.

Prime Minister and National leader Christopher Luxon described Shaw was a “constructive parliamentarian” in his climate change work and someone he respected a lot.

He says he’s always appreciated his collaborative approach and the way he works to get cross-party consensus. Luxon is reported as saying that Shaw leaves Parliament with something that’s pretty enduring – namely the net zero legislation.

“I like the way that he talks to lots of politicians on all sides and I consider him a friend,” he says.

Former finance minister, Labour’s Grant Robertson, has also praised Shaw, saying he was a staunch advocate for climate action and for social justice. He says James Shaw’s efforts to build consensus and make progress on climate action have been enormous. “On top of that he’s one of the smartest people I know and a pragmatic idealist,” says Robertson.

ACT’s David Seymour says he feels sorry for Shaw. He says it’s hard for many people to believe, but says Shaw is the sanest member of the Green Party.

Auckland Business Chamber chief executive and former National Party leader Simon Bridges has described Shaw as having a warmth and decency which meant he had always been well-liked across political lines.

“Among politicians on the left, he’s always been one of the handful of most popular for business to engage with. While he often won’t agree with the points being made to him, he’s a great listener and always has the courtesy to seek to understand the arguments being made to him,” says Bridges.

Former National Party leader Todd Muller says Shaw was one of his best friends in politics, despite their divergent views. He described the Green MP as having a great sense of humour, willing to listen and seeing the bigger picture.

Shaw has resigned as co-leader but will stay on in Parliament until his members bill about environmental rights is either passed or rejected. Only then will he leave Parliament.

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