So the Greens await their fate, hinged to Labour largely because of their belief they are and will always be part of the principled left bloc.
Where Labour goes, the Greens believe they have to follow.

And this is a major flaw, I think.

The Greens should be a swing party. In fact, in an ideal world James Shaw would be in coalition talks right now with Bill English, selling his party as a better coalition option then New Zealand First. Less volatile, less prickly, more predictable, more stable, younger, fresher, more reflective of the issues that are central to the concerns of the work force.

And yet again, people have raised this question with me since the election. Why, they want to know, isn't there a blue-green option in this country? Well, why indeed?

Once the dust settles on Election 2017, the Greens should rethink their strategy and rethink how they can best effect change. There is a very real appetite for a blue-green ideology in New Zealand - and James Shaw is the man to lead that change as the sole leader of the party.

Metiria Turei was more activist then politician. She was more focused on keeping to the ideology then getting into government - but she's gone now so Shaw should seize the opportunity, and look to lead something of a renaissance.

For a start, the Greens should ditch the party's co-leadership policy. One leader is simpler. It's cleaner.

Yes, in the early days the co-leadership was welcomed - one man and one woman heading up the Greens. But we're good with that now.


The Greens are chock-full of women. In fact, so is politics. We don't need the Ken and Barbie model to remind us that the Greens embrace gender equality.

We've had two female prime ministers, and we very nearly had a third this term. The Ken and Barbie model is tired so ditch it. Strip the leadership back to one.

And then scale back on policy. The Greens don't have to be all things to all people. Campaign on two or three key environmental policies, and the same number of social policies too.

And that's what you take into your coalition talks with either the left or the right. Work with either.

But just get into government and implement some change. That's a far better option than positioning the Greens as a major party with a million bottom lines. If they maintain that approach, they'll stay out of government forever.

This week, when pressed, Shaw has questioned why the Greens would ever consider going into coalition with National.

He says the party's campaign this term focused on changing the government.

And now we know that's not likely to happen. National is the best-placed party to form a government, and that means the Greens will remain on the outside of government again. They'll achieve little, if anything, from the wrong side of the fence.

And that's a shame. Truly. James Shaw is a smart man.

I've heard him speak a few times now. He's super smart. He wants a high-value, clean-tech economy. And he's spent some years working with large, multi-nationals across Europe developing sustainable business practises.

He's been a management consultant. He gets business. And he gets the environment within which it operates.

He's the man to reposition the Greens, and if he does it right, the Greens will become the kingmakers of the future.

That would rid the country of New Zealand First and its tired ideas that favour the over-65s, and delight many in this country who want either a National or Labour-led government, but not at the expense of the planet.