Rebel Green MPs were 'underperforming' - campaign manager
The Green Party's campaign manager says the loss of two senior MPs won't make much difference because they were "underperforming" anyway.
Sarah Helm said the two MPs were "maybe a bit disgruntled anyway" and that "voters probably won't know who these two people are".
Speaking on RadioLIVE's First at Five, Ms Helm said the Green Party has a grassroots campaign that involves a lot of phone calling and door knocking.
"Both of those candidates have been underperforming in the campaign.
"[David] Clendon has made one phone call all year, and Kennedy Graham has probably put in a few hours, so it will not make a huge difference to campaign capacity."
Dr Graham called for calm, saying "It's important not to inflame things further. I think we need to be calm and dignified and have a decent discussion."
On Monday night, Green MPs Dr Graham and Mr Clendon threatened to remove their names from the party list unless co-leader Metiria Turei stepped down.
Green Party co-leader James Shaw said both MPs will be suspended from caucus and possibly removed from the party's membership.
Ms Helm then told media both candidates had been asked to consider not standing on the Green Party list.
Mr Clendon refutes that claim entirely.
"Sarah was completely untrue when she said that. I have never been asked not to stand on the list by anybody," Mr Clendon told media.
"I'm disappointed that a senior party employee should resort to telling basically lies. That's very unfortunate."
But despite the campaign manager's attack on Dr Graham and Mr Clendon, Newshub political editor Patrick Gower told The AM Show the pair has "fought hard for the Greens".
"Kennedy Graham is an international diplomat and expert in international law and he was fighting climate change before people knew what it was," Gower said.
"David Clendon - he's been with the Greens since the days of the Values Party. He's toed the line the entire time... He's put up more billboards than anyone.
"Nobody in the Greens has given them one word of respect in the last little while because they are all so obsessed with Metiria and her benefit fraud that they are not actually seeing what they're doing to each other."
Mr Shaw told The AM Show on Tuesday that both men are values-driven and he considers them friends.
But he said he was disappointed in the stance they have taken.
"They are taking a very black and white position, and I find it very difficult to condemn the actions of a young mother 25 years ago," he said, refering to Ms Turei's admission of benefit and electoral fraud.