I am reminded of the Yes Prime Minister episode in which the Prime Minister referred to a candidate for a bishopric as wanting to turn the Church of England into some kind of religious movement. Apparently, Shaw wants to turn the Greens into some kind of environmentalist party.
If this is the case, then there is scope for the Greens to reposition themselves. Last year, I suggested that the Greens should seriously consider being a coalition partner for National in a "teal coalition". Many others (e.g. here) have suggested that New Zealand needs a new teal (or blue-green) party for environmentalists who are turned off by the red-green tinge of the Greens.
I see no value for environmentalists in splitting their concerns across two parties, neither of whom would have any influence with the dominant partner in a coalition, due to their having no credible alternative partner. Instead, I still believe that the Greens could have more influence if they became solely a green-green party. While this would run the risk of alienating that part of the current Greens activist base who are strongly anti-business, it would enable them to pick up support elsewhere. What I am suggesting is a party that would guarantee confidence and supply to National or Labour in return for concessions on key environmental issues, and would abstain in parliament on any non-enviornmental issue. Their position, to paraphrase President Lincoln's letter to Horace Greely, would be
If we could save the environment without freeing any market we would do it, and if we could save the environment by freeing all the markets we would do it; and if we could save it by feeing some and leaving others alone we would also do that.If Shaw can move the Greens in this direction, politics will become really interesting in New Zealand. Even without that, the interaction between the two co-leaders is going to be facinating to watch.