Winston Peters says Metiria Turei's exit from Parliament will be "tough", but he's not sad to see her go.
Ms Turei resigned as co-leader of the Greens on Wednesday night, following weeks of pressure over her past alleged crimes and a collapse in the party's support.
- Metiria Turei resigns as Green co-leader
- Newshub poll: NZ First overtakes Greens as third biggest party
She'll still be running as a candidate in Te Tai Tonga, but without a spot on the party's list is highly unlikely to make it back into Parliament.
"It is tough to see anyone go from here in that way. No one wants that to be their legacy," Mr Peters told Newshub.
"If it had been handled at the start properly with some sound advice… then this would not have happened."
But the veteran New Zealand First leader says he'll never forgive Ms Turei for calling him a "racist".
"Do I forgive someone who called me a racist? No I don't. This was an attack on Winston Peters and New Zealand First organised by the Greens in consultation with the Labour Party. What do you expect me to think of that?"
Ms Turei called Mr Peters "racist" in July, admitting she'd consulted with Labour beforehand.
Even then, she said the Greens were willing to work with NZ First, if that's what it took to change the Government.
With Wednesday's Newshub-Reid Research poll showing Labour's surge coming largely at the expense of the Greens and NZ First, the electoral math remains largely unchanged - all three would need to work together to oust National from power.