Metiria Turei has resigned as Co-Leader of the Green Party this evening.
Since opening a conversation about the reality of poverty in New Zealand and the solutions to it three weeks ago, Metiria Turei and her family have been under extreme scrutiny.
“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,” said Mrs Turei.
“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.
“Resigning as co-leader is my decision. The party did not ask me to resign and as recently as last night the executive gave me a vote of confidence,” said Mrs Turei.
Green Party Co-Leader James Shaw has thanked Metiria Turei for her long years of service to the Green Party.
“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,” said Mr Shaw.
“I urge everyone who believes in the environment and our people, including those who have come forward in the last few weeks, to continue with their support. It is more important than ever that we change the government,” said Mr Shaw.
Metiria Turei will no longer be on the Green Party list but will campaign for the party vote only in Te Tai Tonga.
The Green Party will select a new female co-leader at its AGM next year. James Shaw will be the sole co-leader for the election. This is consistent with the approach when co-leader Rod Donald died following the 2005 election.