Metiria Turei faces media at airport amid Green Party meltdown

  • 08/08/2017

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says she will not be stepping down after two MPs quit in protest against her leadership.

"I spoke to my caucus last night. All of them but those two have asked me to stay on, and so that's what I'll do," Ms Turei told media as she arrived at Wellington Airport.

Ms Turei said the loss of David Clendon and Kennedy Graham was a shame, and she holds them in high regard. 

"It's a real shame that we are losing Kennedy and Dave. I have worked with them for nearly 10 years, and I hold them in very high regard. They are doing what they need to do, and I am doing what I need to do.

"They are perfectly entitled to their view. 

"I have a campaign to fight for climate action, to clean up our rivers and to end poverty. I'm challenging that idea that we should have a punishment culture," she said.

Co-leader James Shaw told The AM Show Kennedy Graham had expressed his dissatisfaction "a number of times" over the past few weeks but he thought they were resolving those issues. 

When the pair came to him at about 1.30pm on Monday, Mr Shaw said he was disappointed they gave such short notice.

"I said that I thought that they ought to stick with the process. I said I thought they were being unfair because they were only giving us a couple of hours' notice," he said.

"It's really disappointing they were going to media rather than trying to work it through with their caucus colleagues first."

Green MP Julie-Anne Genter, who is number 4 on the party's list, is refusing to be drawn on whether she would step up to be co-leader if Ms Turei stepped down.

"I completely back Metiria on what she's doing, I think it's important and I think that most New Zealanders are going to see the Green movement as a long term movement for positive change in this country," she said on Tuesday morning.