Greens co-leader Metiria Turei has resigned. The move comes after Turei’s widely-reported revelation that she had committed benefit fraud as a young solo mother.
Turei had also admitted lying about her address in order to vote for a friend in a different electorate.
The move comes after a sustained media onslaught driven by the case, which divided opinion across Aotearoa.
While many supported Turei’s honesty in confronting the shortcomings of the social welfare system by sharing her experience, others were concerned over the revelations coming from the leader of a national political party.
Greens co-leader James Shaw confirmed the resignation this evening, “Metiria Turei has decided to withdraw as co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. She will withdraw from our list of candidates and will retire at the elections.”
The Green Party appears to be suffering from something of a reversal of fortunes, with new polling rumoured to show a dramatic drop In support for the party, likely driven both by Turei’s revelation and the Labour Party resurgence under popular new leader Jacinda Ardern.
Speaking to the press, Turei claimed her decision was due to the ‘scrutiny on (her) family’, which had ‘become unbearable’.
“If I continue as co-leader I will hinder the success of the kaupapa and the kaupapa is to change this government and make sure the Greens are at the very heart of that new government,” said Turei.