James Shaw does 'fantastic job' as climate change minister - PM

Source: 1News

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says James Shaw "does a fantastic job" as climate change minister and will be keeping the portfolio regardless of what happens with the Green Party co-leadership.

Shaw confirmed to RNZ on Monday morning he will contest the co-leadership, declaring "I'm not done," after being ousted from the role over the weekend.

Party members voted to re-open nominations against Shaw on Saturday at the Green's annual general meeting.

Ardern told Breakfast on Monday the portfolios of Shaw and Marama Davidson aren't attached to the co-leadership, "so regardless of what happens, that won't change the ministers we have from the Green Party".

READ MORE: James Shaw confirms he'll contest Green Party co-leadership

"I have no intention of changing who our ministers are because James does a fantastic job, as does Marama, on the portfolios that they hold," Ardern declared.

"I'll let the Greens finish their machinations as a party and ultimately it doesn't impact the work that we're doing."

The prime minister batted away criticism Shaw hasn't done enough to address climate change.

Ardern said it's not fair to place the responsibility of ensuring the country's climate policies stand the test of time on one person's shoulders.

READ MORE: Green leadership challenge - Shaw opponent speaks out

"We have to make sure that when we make decisions that have to hold for the next 50 years, that we bring as many people with us as possible," Ardern began.

James Shaw.

"James Shaw, as the climate minister, within our government, has introduced policy changes that are first in the world - the way that reporting is done around climate impacts for financial institutions and other businesses, the way that we are first in the world to ensure that we will price emissions from agriculture. No one else is doing these things."

"Do we have a lot of work to do as a nation? As a world? Yes, of course, but I think the work that has been done and the foundations that have been set by James have been incredibly important," Ardern remarked.

"Does he often want to go further? Yes. He's a member of the Green Party. I would expect that, but I don't think that has diminished what he has done."