AM Show host Mark Richardson's advice to Green Party leader: 'Be a risk-taker'
AM Show sports commentator Mark Richardson is dipping his toe into the political pool again, this time splashing his ideas at the leader of the Green Party.
Introduced by his colleague Duncan Garner as a "political expert", who has "decided that you [Green Party leader James Shaw] should listen to him and this is what he wants to say."
The cricketer-turned-broadcaster challenged Shaw to form a coalition government with National, following the stalemate reached in Saturday's election.
"I just want to say James," said Richardson, directly to camera, "be a risk taker and back yourself, but not only back yourself, back that band of hopeful young administrators you take with them (sic)," he said.
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"How much do you think they have the ability to politic and make a difference because you could get in government tomorrow, you could be in government today."
Discussions are currently underway with the leaders of The Green Party, Labour, National and NZ First to decide who will form the next government. Both The Green Party and NZ First are playing Queen and Kingmakers.
Richardson admitted that Shaw would "blow his Party to smithereens" if he stood beside National.
But in those three years Shaw could "prove" that the Green Party has the "quality and the goods" and make "a difference to the environment within this country".
Recently, Richardson declared on-air that he was a National supporter.
Journalists were encouraged to remain impartial so they could vote "without fear and favour", E Tū union organise Paul Tolich explained. But Richardson was quick to point out that he wasn't a journalist and rather a broadcaster, so was entitled to have an opinion.
That gives him room to make his "challenge" to Shaw on-air following the election.
"I'm telling you right now, if you put National in party (sic) today, they will give you something to play with," Richardson added.
"If you allow Winston Peters to dominate this, you may in fact wield less power in a left coalition than you do in a right coalition. That's my challenge - back the people you work with to make a change."
He went on to say the decisions made over the next few weeks was "political deviousness" at its best.