The Green Party will give its questions during Question Time to the Opposition to help it hold the Government, which it is a part of, to account.

Greens co-leader James Shaw announced the move today, saying it was an end to 'patsy' questions from the Greens. Patsy questions are ones designed to allow an answer on how great the Government is.

"We think patsy questions are a waste of time, and New Zealanders have not put us in Parliament to do that; we're there to make positive change for our people and our environment," Shaw said.

"Question Time is a key avenue for the opposition to interrogate the Government, so this move is a small step we can take to live up to the values we stated in opposition now that we are part of the Government.


"Using Question Time to ask ourselves scripted, set-piece patsy questions does nothing to advance the principles of democracy and accountability that are very important to us as a party."

The only exception would when if the Greens wanted to ask questions to hold the Government to account of matters outside of the ministerial portfolios that Green MPs hold, which is allowed within its confidence and supply agreement with Labour.

Opposition leader Simon Bridges welcomed the move, saying it would help National hold "the weak Ardern-Peters Government" to account.

"The Green Party's willingness for this weak Government to be held to account is commendable and we will honour the spirit of this move by doing so strongly.

"National will use the Green Party's Questions as well its own to continue to focus on the issues that matter to New Zealanders – the economy, law and order, housing, public services and the environment."

Shaw said he did not expect other parties to follow its example.

"This is about us leading the kind of change we want to see in Parliament.The Greens are committed to doing Government differently and doing Government better."

It follows the Greens' decision to voluntarily release of Green Ministers' diaries to increase transparency.

"We will also make a submission to the Standing Orders Review, which kicks off next year, to advocate for further changes to Question Time."

The review is where all parties in Parliament make decisions about how future parliaments will operate.


"The Canadian Government has recently trialled changes to Question Time after Justin Trudeau campaigned to do so. This shows parliament systems are not set in stone and should be open to regular review and change to ensure our democracy is healthy and well-functioning," Shaw said.