Metiria Turei meets with WINZ investigators
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says she has "no regrets" about lying to Work and Income in the 1990s, after her first meeting with Ministry of Social Development investigators.
Ms Turei did not take a lawyer with her into the meeting on Thursday morning, which came two-and-half weeks after her admission she lied when she was a single mother studying for her own law degree.
"I'm very clear that I will certainly be repaying any overpayment," Ms Turei told media afterwards.
"It was a good meeting, but I can certainly see how people who don't have resources would find that traumatic... I can certainly see how they would need advocates or lawyers with them."
The ministry will send her a list of questions to answer about her living situation between 1993 and 1998, when she was on the Domestic Purposes Benefit.
Ms Turei says she has no idea if they'll prosecute her, and it appears unlikely the matter will be resolved before the election in September. She has a "preference for it to be resolved as soon as possible".
"They are seeking information from me and I will do my best to provide it," said Ms Turei.
She plans to fully cooperate with the investigation.
"They have a job to do. They are workers, they have a job to do and I don't want to make their job any harder than is necessary."
It's the first time Ms Turei has met with investigators, and it's given her an insight into what beneficiaries have to go through - but she knows her experience won't be typical.
"I have a law degree, I have many years' experience as an advocate and I am not financially subject to their decisions," she said.
"I'm not as vulnerable... as most who would go through this process."
The meeting was recorded and Ms Turei will be given a transcript, but it will remain confidential.
The Greens got a solid boost in the polls after Ms Turei made her admission. The Greens' welfare policy would see beneficiaries get more money and no longer face sanctions or financial penalties.
"Politicians decide if we have poverty in this country, and politicians decide if we can end it."