Te Pāti Māori calls for Climate Change Minister to stand down

Climate Change Minister James Shaw.

One of Te Pāti Māori's two MPs has called for Climate Change Minister James Shaw to resign over a Government green policy purge yesterday.

Today, Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said she believed the Government's announcement that it was abandoning some climate change policies in order to reprioritise "bread and butter" issues was "disgusting".

It follows a Government announcement yesterday of its second tranche of "reprioritisation", which includes scrapping the clean car upgrade scheme to save $586 million.

The announcement also included abandoning most of the Government's plan to cut speed limits - despite higher speeds causing greater emissions - and a new social leasing car scheme, which Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said yesterday was "proving difficult to implement".

The scheme would have provided clean car leasing arrangements to low-income families.

Ngarewa-Packer said Shaw "should be ashamed of himself".

"In fact, he should stand down, because this is a total disrespect to all the work that has been done in this space.

"Labour has decided that the climate and our future is not bread and butter."

She said there needed to be an "and-and" response on climate change and cost of living issues.

"We have a Climate Change Minister and it is his role to hold this Government to account, it is his role to make sure we advance climate change kaupapa and he has failed. He should stand down in shame."

Ngarewa-Packer said Te Pāti Māori was the only party that would hold a government to account on climate change issues.

"Clearly the Labour-Greens relationship is challenged."

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer

In response, Shaw said walking away "leaves you with no influence at all".

"It's incumbent on all of us, who have got the option, to double down.

"I think every day about the impact that I'm able to have as part of a government, and I think every politician should be questioning, every day, whether or not they would be better utilised elsewhere. I continuously come to the conclusion that we still have so much work to do, we actually just need to crack on with it."

He said he had never considered resigning and said despite Ngarewa-Packer's comments, he could still work with Te Pāti Māori.