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Green Party MP Teanau Tuiono ‘considering’ a tilt at co-leadership

PoliticsUpdated 27 Jul, 2022 01:10 AM3 minutes to read Green MP Teanau Tuiono will discuss whether he will run for the Green...

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Green MP Teanau Tuiono will discuss whether he will run for the Green co-leadership. Photo / Supplied

Green Party MP Teanau Tuiono is considering a run at the Green Party co-leadership.

Tuiono held a surprise press conference at Parliament today leading to speculation he might be about to announce his candidacy for the co-leadership.

Instead, he said he was still making up his mind and had not decided whether or not to formally put his hat into the ring.

Tuiono says he will continue to talk to members and “reflect” on the co-leadership position.

He was still considering a run and his decision had to be “what the members want”.

Tuiono said the members wanted the party to “push out in the most transformational way possible”.

“The feeling I get particularly from young people, the people who are from the Green Left Network as well is they really, really want a strong independent voice that is not tethered to the Labour Party,” Tuiono said.

“If that’s not landing for them, then we need to do some reflection as a caucus as well,” he said.

Tuiono defended members who had been “agitating” for change, saying it was their “right” to do so.

If he stands he will go up against James Shaw, who is so far the only person to confirm he will contest for his old job.

“We are pretty different people,” Tuiono said of Shaw.

Shaw lost the role on Saturday after failing to get the 75 per cent support from delegates that he needed. Nominations for it are now open for seven days.

Other MPs, including Chloe Swarbrick and Elizabeth Kerekere have ruled out contesting it.

Today Shaw put up a post with a mea culpa and a promise to do better for members if he was re-selected.

In that post, Shaw admitted he had underestimated the concerns about him among the membership and had dismissed them as only those who did not want the Greens to be part of a government.

He said the vote had come as a shock to him.

“It’s been clear for a while that there has been some disaffection with me, but I had understood that to be primarily among members who didn’t support the party’s decision to go into Government, or the compromises that come with the progress.

“I want to acknowledge that I understand that the vote wasn’t just about that. If I’m honest, I’ve found it hard to get the mix right between being a minister and a co-leader and, quite clearly given the vote last weekend, I haven’t quite nailed it.”

He said he knew he needed to rebuild trust with some of the membership and was committed to doing that.

“As much as I have been frustrated by some of the criticism, as co-leader I need to listen and be there for anyone who has legitimate criticism. That is part of the job and that is why we have the mechanism to reopen nominations every year, to ensure that our co-leaders are responsive to those who do have concerns.”

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