The Green Party caucus may have swallowed a dead rat on the waka-jumping bill but they have won a concession over bottled water that may appease unhappy grassroots supporters.

Just over 200 party members are in Palmerston North this weekend for the party's annual general meeting.

If co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson were nervous about the reception the caucus would receive following the fallout from its decision to back the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill, they didn't show it.

In his speech yesterday, Shaw put the party's wins front and centre, reminding members what the caucus has achieved – three ministers and an undersecretary and a slew of positive gains.


He also reminded the audience they were in it together, punctuating his speech with acknowledgements of their support and hard work to get their eight MPs into Parliament.

"We have these responsibilities in Government today for one reason, and one reason only. You.

"We haven't won every debate and the menu does feature the occasional deceased rodent. But it just goes to show, you made the right choice to go into Government," he said.

The rodent reference is a nod to Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage's honest response to the Greens deciding to support the so-called waka-jumping bill.

Shaw argued that the Green Party was even stronger in its values now that it was in government.

"Our values, our Green kaupapa, are being tested in ways we didn't face when we were in Opposition. So we will continue to be the strongest voice in Parliament for progressive politics.

Davidson received a loud and long round of applause when she took the stage to deliver her speech.

But the loudest applause was reserved for her announcement that the Green caucus had secured a commitment from its government partners that the issue of water sales, particularly to overseas bottling companies, would be looked at for inclusion in any changes to the Overseas Investment Act.


Work is getting under way on a second round of amendments to the Overseas Investment Act. The review will now consider whether water extraction should be a factor considered when weighing up whether a sale should be approved.

"The 'benefits to New Zealand' criteria that can be used to approve or decline sales does not include water extraction. They should," said Davidson, the party's water spokeswoman.

"Water should not be for sale to the highest bidder. Changing the law is a key step towards protecting it for the generations ahead."