Greens outline priorities in negotiations with Labour - 'Policy gains rather than the job titles'

Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson say policy gains are what they’ll be focused on in any negotiation talks with Labour. 

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Marama Davidson and James Shaw say Labour will benefit from their support. Source: 1 NEWS

Speaking on TVNZ1's Breakfast today Davidson said she had spoken to Labour leader Jacinda Ardern over the weekend to “set the ground for a conversation”, eyeing the continuation of the two parties working together - following Labour's big election win.

“Of course the final decision will come back to our members,” she said. 

“Our goal is to have a look at what we can achieve on those election priorities for our climate, protecting nature, making sure we’re looking after everyone.”

Davidson said the Greens would try to present a work programme that achieved that. 

Despite Labour commanding a majority in the House, Shaw said Labour would still benefit with an arrangement with the Greens. 

He said Ardern was a “consensus politician” and would want to create as broad a Government as she can. 

Ardern would also benefit from the talent in the Greens, and a greater majority would be advantageous when it came to select committee membership, Shaw said. 

But, he didn't know whether the Greens would enter into a coalition or a confidence and supply deal. 

“That depends really on … what does that work programme look like,” Shaw said.

He said those conversations would come later in negotiations once a policy work programme was formed, because this would decide what ministerial portfolios were required and how they would be allocated. 

“That's reflective of what happened in 2017 as well. We looked at the idea of a full coalition. We looked at confidence and supply.

"We felt at that time that the confidence and supply agreement worked best for the circumstances we were in," he said.

But Shaw said circumstances were “very different” this time around and he wasn't sure about what ministerial portfolios he may get, if any.

“We’re here for the policy gains rather than the job titles.”

Shaw yesterday on TVNZ1’s Q+A didn’t rule out negotiating the Greens’ wealth tax policy.

“I’m going to take everything I campaigned on into those negotiations.”

Ardern yesterday didn’t rule out working alongside the Green Party in the next Government.

"I've had a very brief conversation with James Shaw acknowledging the Green Party's success overnight as well, and of course I placed a call with Marama Davidson also.”

She said a Government would be formed "in the next two to three weeks". 

Ardern said she was also wanting “straightforward arrangements for this next term of office”. 

"You know, and everyone will have seen, that I have been a consensus builder, but I also need to work with the mandate that Labour has been given as well, and I have said to the Greens that I will talk to them next week.”

A coalition agreement is a more formal arrangement than a confidence and supply deal.

Parties in a coalition form a joint policy plan, and often mean the smaller party gains high-ranking ministerial portfolios. 

In contrast, a confidence and supply deal allows a smaller party to keep more distance from a governing party. The smaller party will support the Government’s continuation during motions of confidence and when it proposes a budget. 

The election result means Labour will have 64 seats and the Greens will have 10 seats.