Labour is out to crush the Greens - Patrick Gower

  • 09/08/2017

Newshub political editor Patrick Gower believes there was no 'dirty deal' in the Hutt South electorate after Green Party candidate Susanne Ruthven withdrew from the race.

Ms Ruthven, the third Green Party candidate to withdraw this week, says she has done so because she has taken a job at a ministry.

Gower said as soon as it was reported there was a deal between Labour and the Greens in the electorate, he was getting phone calls from Labour Party members, who swore there was no deal.

Gower said they told him they "hate the Greens" and said they don't want to be seen with them.

"I believe Labour here. I don't think there is a dirty deal out there. I think that Susanne Ruthven actually did have to leave to go for a job, and what bad timing for the Greens," Gower said on The AM Show.

"The truth is, Labour are out to crush, smash, hurt the Greens. They hate them. They've got a whole lot of antipathy to Metiria Turei."

Number 24 on the party's list, Ms Ruthven was very unlikely to enter Parliament this election.

Ms Ruthven announced she would withdraw from the race at a debate on Tuesday night. She said she had taken a job as a legal advisor at the Ministry for Pacific People.

Hutt South will be a tightly contested election this year, with Labour standing new candidate Ginny Anderson against National's Chris Bishop.

The seat is currently held by Labour's Trevor Mallard, who won the 2014 election by 700 votes. 

A Greens-free electorate would give the Labour candidate a clearer run for the seat - the Green Party candidate took 3000 votes in the last election. 

The withdrawal from the race is unfortunate timing for the Green Party; just two days after current MPs Kennedy Graham and David Clendon withdrew from the list in protest against Ms Turei's admission of benefit fraud.

Newshub has asked the Green Party whether they plan on standing anyone in the electorate in Ms Ruthven's place.