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By Caleb Fotheringham, RNZ Pacific journalist

A political commentator says Green Party co-leader James Shaw was a “friend of the Pacific”.

Shaw, who was previously New Zealand’s climate change minister for six years, announced this week he will be stepping aside as party co-leader in March.

Political commentator Thomas Wynne told RNZ Pacific that Shaw was unashamedly focused on climate change.

“If one is realistic, one can do one job really, really well and Parliament can put you across a whole range of work and sometimes you don’t do at all well because your focus is somewhere else,” Wynne said.

“But James was really clear about what he wanted to do and what his focus was, I think his legacy around climate change will be long lasting.”

Wynne said Shaw supported Vanuatu seeking an advisory ruling from the International Court of Justice on climate change and human rights.

He said Shaw’s legacy around climate change would be long lasting in the Pacific.

“In the Pacific everything is around relationship and James had a good relationship with the nations in the Pacific.

“I think locally, our younger Pacific voter really leaned into the principles and values of the Green Party.”

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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