Shaw: Strong and responsible government that will go the distance is top priority for Greens

That Labour leads a strong and responsible government is at the top of Green Party leader James Shaw’s priority list.

Again, it’s a state-the-obvious, but it could indicate that Shaw is readying to accept whatever policy platform Labour agrees to with New Zealand First. He appears to be trusting that Labour will secure a platform with enough policy to keep the Green Party grassroots happy enough to support such a set-up.

Shaw on Wednesday morning met with Ardern, while Peters was in a meeting with National.

Labour is set to meet NZ First this afternoon. Shaw said he trusted Ardern would conduct those talks with fairness in mind when it came to the Greens.

“I trust her and she seems to be doing a good job of it.”

“It’s got to be a stable and responsible government that’s going to go the whole distance in the national interest,” he said. Labour were working very hard to ensure that would happen.

Shaw was asked whether ‘strong and stable’ therefore ranked higher than policy when it came to priorities.

“It has to be a stable and responsible government that will go the full distance,” he replied. “So that means that presumably all of the partners have got to be pretty comfortable with this direction. That’s the same as any other coalition government.”

Shaw was also asked whether he was worried that Green Party members could vote against the party entering into an arrangement with Labour and NZ First if they didn’t like the policy prescription agreed to by Labour.

“We campaigned so hard to change the government, right? That is what we campaigned on, we’ve thrown everything at it, that’s what we’re working on.”

However he maintained that: “It’s got to be worth it for everybody.”

Meanwhile, Shaw said he was not worried if the timeframe slipped a day or two from Thursday.