Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick says she’s talking with friends and colleagues over whether she should put herself forward for the role of party co-leader.
One co-leadership position has opened up following James Shaw’s announcement yesterday he will be stepping down from the role he’d held for nearly a decade.
He is remaining in Parliament for the meantime to support a member’s bill which was drawn from the ballot last year.
Swarbrick’s name was quick to be mentioned as a possible replacement, but the Auckland Central MP told 1News deputy pollical editor Maiki Sherman she was not rushing into a decision.
“Just currently taking my time to have discussions with people who I admire and respect and my caucus colleagues,” she said this afternoon.
“I will not be announcing anything right here and now but what I can say is it’s absolutely no secret that I’ve never coveted anything like this, and what I hold really true to is that this kaupapa is bigger than any one person. So I’m far more focussed on the party than I am myself.”
Despite not revealing what her next move is, Swarbrick added she believes she has “aptly demonstrated” her ability to work across the Parliamentary aisle, citing the progress in the end of life choice legislation as an example.
“It’s pretty evident to everybody out there that I don’t have a poker face and I’m going to say the same thing I do in public as I do in private.”
Potentially hinting at the future, Swarbrick said: “The one job I have is to remind people to not leave politics to the politicians.”
Nominations for the role open today and close on February 14.
1News understands Swarbrick’s candidacy could be announced as soon as tomorrow, or potentially pushed out to the end of the week.
Although it seems Swarbrick will announce her candidacy this soon, it does not mean the role will automatically belong to her.
The Green Party prides itself on running a free and transparent leadership process. Any party member or other MP who wants to put their hand up can do so and they will be supported through the race.
Once nominations close next month, Green Party members will vote for their preferred candidate at local meetings.
Each local branch is entitled to a certain number of votes proportionate to the number of members who live in that electorate.
The party has said it expects to announce its new co-leader on March 10.
Ricardo Menéndez March said today he did not intend to put his name forward.
Other possible contenders are Teanau Tuiono and Julie Anne Genter.
Labour leader Chris Hipkins said the next co-leader was a matter for the Green Party, but when pressed, thought it was “likely” to be Swarbrick.