Labour ready to work with 'whoever's left standing' in the Greens
Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis says the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Greens is still on, despite the party's descent into chaos.
James Shaw is the party's sole leader following the departure of Metiria Turei, and one of the two MPs who quit on Monday wants back in now she's gone.
Potential leadership contender Julie Anne Genter lost her cool when asked on Thursday afternoon if she'd be putting her hand up for Ms Turei's job.
Appearing on The AM Show alongside Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett, Mr Davis said the turmoil hasn't affected the MOU.
"That memorandum of understanding, all it means is that when Jacinda Ardern is Prime Minister on the 24th of September, she picks up the phone and the first call goes to whoever's left standing in the Greens - I assume James Shaw."
Ms Bennett said it was a "horrible situation" for the party, but she wouldn't "dance on [Ms Turei's] grave".
"She's made her decision now, and I hope she can regroup with her family. I think enough's been said, to be quite honest."
Ms Bennett said it was no one's fault but Ms Turei's own for "opening that door" into her past.
"Once you do that, other people are involved and it gets really messy."
She has repeatedly insisted during her own time spent on the benefit, she never "deliberately" misled Work and Income.
Mr Davis said Ms Turei's resignation hasn't damaged Labour. The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll showed Labour surging under new leader Jacinda Ardern, both NZ First and the Greens bleeding support.
"It's better to be on 33 percent than 23 percent, but we know that we've got work to do still," said Mr Davis.
Ms Bennett said Labour's fallen so far this year, even with the Labour's surge the left bloc is still polling below what it was this time last year.
And she's right - Labour, the Greens and NZ First combined have 50.6 percent in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll. In August last year, they had 52.3 percent.