'Metiria has made a huge contribution in Parliament' - Jacinda Ardern
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says she hopes Metiria Turei is remembered for her contribution to Parliament rather than her controversial resignation.
Ms Turei announced she would be stepping down as co-leader of the Green Party on Wednesday, saying her open admission of benefit fraud put her family under "extreme scrutiny".
- Metiria Turei resigns as Green co-leader
- Calls for Metiria Turei to resign
- Newshub-Reid Research poll: Jacinda Ardern brings Labour back
In a Facebook Live Ms Ardern says she has seen many fellow MPs who she considers friends "resign from Parliament under really tough circumstances".
"I hope in amongst all of that, [there is] reflection on the contribution that those people have made. Metiria has made a huge contribution in Parliament, so I want to acknowledge that work that she's done."
When asked how it affects Labour's cooperation's with the Greens, Ms Arden says it doesn't change anything.
"I've been consistently really clear on this - if voters put both of us as political parties in a position to govern then we'll work together. But actually up until that point we are separate parties, and we will be campaigning on our own issues."
The half-hour livestream, in which Ms Ardern talked about her childhood "reject" pet lamb, her tea preferences and her cat with opposable thumbs, she also addressed more serious, frequently debated health-related topics.
The 37-year-old threw her full support behind legalising medicinal cannabis, after seeing the benefits first-hand from a close friend who battled a terminal illness.
"One of the few things I saw her get some relief from was the use of cannabis, so from my perspective it's a no-brainer. We should improve access; we should allow access."
When asked about her view on vaccinations, she also backed their use.
"I [also] support the use of vaccinations, absolutely - massive advocate of their use. However, I do not support making that compulsory. So I will do everything I can to encourage their use, that's evidence based, but compulsion is another step entirely."