Calls for Metiria Turei to resign

There are calls Friday morning for Metiria Turei to resign the Green Party co-leadership, following new revelations about her actions in the 1990s.

It's been nearly three weeks since Ms Turei admitted lying to Work and Income (WINZ) to get an increased accommodation benefit when she was a solo mother studying for a law degree in the mid-1990s.

She met with WINZ investigators on Thursday, but hours later Newshub presented her with evidence that was not the extent of her offending.

According to the electoral roll, in 1993 and 1994 Ms Turei was listed at the same Mt Albert address as the father of her daughter. She says she never lived there, and only registered the address so she could vote for a friend in the 1993 election.

She also admitted that a couple of years later her mother was one of her flatmates, but insists they were "financially independent".

"It's time for her to go to save any credibility that the Green Party may have left," ACT leader David Seymour told Newshub on Friday.

"I just feel sorry for James Shaw, who's been busy trying to make the Green Party credible, and yet he's found himself in bed with a crook."

Disquiet on the left

Labour Party co-leader Kelvin Davis admits the new revelations could hinder the left-wing bloc's chances at the election - a sour end to a week which saw Labour bathed in positive coverage following a clean and largely conflict-free change of leadership.

"It's turned to mushy peas for her, hasn't it? It's pretty ugly," Mr Davis told The AM Show.

"If you're going to open up about yourself like that, you've got to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Don't leave little bits out."

Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis, the new Labour leadership team.
Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis, the new Labour leadership team. Photo credit: Lloyd Burr/Newshub.

He is yet to discuss the latest developments with his boss, Jacinda Ardern.

"Jacinda and I are going to be looking at this and going, hmmm - is this going to be damaging us? … We're going to have to have a good discussion about how this is going to affect us, because we don't want to be seen to be condoning this sort of stuff."

From McGillicuddy Serious, to serious trouble

The Greens got a boost in the polls following Ms Turei's initial admission, but Newshub political editor Patrick Gower says Ms Turei's failure to be totally up-front about her situation could see those gains lost just as quickly.

"She lied to get extra money on the benefit, and to use that word again, she lied about her status on the electoral roll as well. This is very serious," he told AM Show host Duncan Garner on Friday.

Jacinda Ardern and Metiria Turei.
Jacinda Ardern and Metiria Turei. Photo credit: Getty

"The problem for Metiria Turei is she looks like someone, 50 days out from an election, who cannot be trusted, who cannot tell the truth. She looks like just Bill English did on the Todd Barclay issue - shifty and dodgy."

He says Ms Turei's decision to lie to election officials about where she was living so she could vote for her friend was pointless.

"In 1993 in the Mt Albert electorate there was a person standing by the name of Helen Clark, who had one of the biggest majorities in the country.

"I'm presuming that Metiria Turei's friend who she wanted to vote for was someone called KT Julian, standing for the McGillicuddy Serious joke anarchy party. He ended up getting 190 votes in that electorate."

Patrick Gower.
Patrick Gower. Photo credit: Newshub.

Ms Clark won the seat with 49.4 percent of the vote, and six years later went on to become Prime Minister. Ms Ardern, the current Mt Albert MP, faces an uphill battle to replicate her idol's success if the Greens can't shake the controversy surrounding Ms Turei.

"She may well be the block that stops them from getting across the line… she is the real weakness right now, on the left of politics."

He doesn't expect her to be rolled, however, given her "titan" status on the left - saying she'd have to step down of her own accord.

"The question that James Shaw and the other Green MPs [need to ask is], is there more to come?"