The Greens did much more than pick a co-leader his weekend _ they picked a direction. In choosing Marama Davidson, they chose Metiria Turei 2.0.

She's a new version of the same sentiments: a radical social justice warrior, focused on poverty, inequality and the plight of beneficiaries.

So how does that marry up with the more moderate sentiments of her co-leader, the climate change focused James Shaw?

Davidson represents a further lunge to the left - or as the Greens are billing it, 'representing the broad church' - but could that be part of the Greens' problem: it's not clear cut enough. Is a broad church usually a place of unity and cohesion, or disharmony and dissension?


Davidson claims it'll provide balance to the party. It could, or it might lead to clashes. Time will tell - but I don't think we'll be waiting long to find out.

Davidson is young, arguably inexperienced having entered Parliament just three years ago, and as James Shaw said, has "lit a wildfire in the party". A wildfire? Expect some fireworks.

But can a party which has just shaken off the last round of fireworks in the form of her predecessor Metiria Turei afford any more sparks?

Marama Davidson's not a popular choice as far as public appeal, but she did romp home as a clear favourite for the party faithful - three-quarters of the vote is an unabashed landslide.

Which begs the question, as a small-time political party holding on by the skin of its teeth, what's more important: playing to your base - or reaching out and finding some more support beyond that?

Interestingly, before she won the co-leadership, James Shaw, while flying solo, made a very big call to give the National Party its questions for question time. Would he have done so, or been able to do so, with Marama Davidson as co-leader?

Perhaps that's why he did it when he did. And given he's capably steered the party through the first few months of Government without a single scandal it begs the question whether two leaders is even a necessity.

I mean look at the Greens, unlike their comrades in Government Labour and NZ First, they haven't stumbled at all with ministerial scandals and shambles thus far. But the fear now of course for the more moderate Greens is whether this nod to radical activism in Marama Davidson might elicit a few more dodgy headlines in weeks to come. (More dodgy than just Julie Anne Genter bagging old white men.)


So for the Greens, everything rides on the steps from here. Having risen like a phoenix from the ashes last election, it'll be hoping the new co-leader goes the distance, keeps her nose cleaner than her predecessor Metiria Turei, and is able to garner the support the Greens so desperately need, in order to survive beyond 2020.