What the Green Party has achieved after 10 months in Government is impressive but the caucus should be careful not to get the "speed wobbles", former Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.
"James' [Shaw's] account of what has been achieved by three and a half ministers in Government is pretty impressive and I'm delighted by the portfolios we got and the work the ministers are doing," she told reporters in a break during the Green Party's two-day annual general meeting in Palmerston North this weekend.
"There's always the risk at this stage of getting the speed wobbles. There's always a tension between keeping the Government going smoothly and getting a lot of achievements from ministerial work and staying true to our original kaupapa."
But Fitzsimons, who co-led the Green Party from 1995 to 2009, said the Greens' support for the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill was a low point.
"It's wrong, it denies MPs' basic freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of thought. It's contrary to the Bill of Rights and its contrary to our policy."
Efforts to prevent the caucus from voting with Labour and New Zealand First had "hit a brick wall", Fitzsimons said.
Despite that, the bill was not discussed at the meeting. Other members who attended said that while it was a disappointing position, it had to be weighed against the gains the party had made in Government.
Co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson emphasised the caucus's achievements in their keynote speeches to more than 200 supporters - on climate change, the environment and conservation.
They followed those up with plans to tackle water-bottling and landfill waste.
In her first major speech to the party, Davidson said they had secured a commitment that the issue of water sales, particularly to overseas bottling companies, would be considered for inclusion in a review of the Overseas Investment Act.
"Water should not be for sale to the highest bidder. Changing the law is a key step towards protecting it for the generations ahead," she said.
Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage, who had been the target of some unhappiness around her signing off on the expansion of a Chinese-owned water-bottling plant near Whakatāne earlier this year, redeemed herself somewhat with an announcement today that Cabinet had signed off on work to look at a number of waste minimisation measures including expanding and increasing the levy for taking waste to landfills.
It will also consider making companies take more responsibility for the waste their industries create, from production to disposal. Tyres and lithium batteries will be first.
Sage, who is also Conservation Minister and Land Information Minister, has also taken on the portfolio of Women's Affairs while her colleague Julie Anne Genter is on parental leave.
Genter, who is 42 weeks' pregnant, biked to hospital on Sunday to have her baby induced.
It will be a first baby for Genter and her partner Peter Nunns.
Shaw will take on Genter's transport and health portfolios while she is on leave.