election nz

Metiria Turei Resigns as Greens Co-Leader

The resignation comes as a new poll shows a plunge in support for the party.
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Metiria Turei has resigned as co-leader of the Green Party. Her decision came after weeks of intense media scrutiny followed her admission of benefit fraud in the 1990s.

Turei made the announcement to assorted media this evening. According to the NZ Herald the Green Party has dropped to 8.3 percent in the latest UMR poll, down 4.7 percent. Turei maintained the poll result was unrelated to her decision, and that it was the pressure on her family that forced her to step down.

"I knew that by telling my personal story, it would help people hear and understand the reality of poverty. And that has happened—thousands of people have contacted the Green Party with their stories, and many have come forward to tell these in the media as well.
"I also knew that it would open the way for people to criticise me—and I knew the risks of that—but the intensity of those attacks has become too much for my family, and they are now getting in the way of our ability to communicate our solutions—not just for poverty, but for water, climate change, and the environment."

Green candidate Golriz Ghahraman told VICE her initial reaction to Turei's resignation was "very deep sadness", but that the former leader's example would continue to guide the party. "I've looked up to Metiria for years. She stands for all of our values as a movement so it really does harden my resolve to continue her kaupapa… She has not wavered on her values. She stood with the most vulnerable, kept explaining the issues, in the face of so much vitriol."

James Shaw will remain in charge of the Greens as the sole co-leader until the election. He thanked Turei for her service to the party and the country. "Metiria has been a servant for the party, the environment, and for our people for many years. Her dedication and commitment have been unparalleled. As I have said, she chose to tell her story in order to open a conversation—and she has done that."