Greens extend olive branch to NZ First

  • 24/09/2017

Greens leader James Shaw has defiantly claimed he is happy with Saturday's election result, despite losing a handful of seats in Parliament in a near-disastrous election campaign.

"This has been the fight of our lives and we are still here," he told a cheering crowd in central Auckland at St Matthews in the City Anglican Church.

His defiance comes as the Green Party faithful could be forgiven for saying a quiet prayer earlier in the night.

Ever since the meltdown that followed co-leader Metiria Turei's benefit fraud admission, the party has been in a battle for survival. It holds no electorate seats and needed to pass the 5 percent threshold to survive.

With more than 95 percent of the votes counted, the party has 5.8 percent of the vote, which would give them seven seats in Parliament, well down on the 14 seats they secured in 2014.

Despite National being in the box office to form a Government, Mr Shaw hasn't given up hope of being part of a new coalition government together with Labour and NZ First.

He appealed directly to NZ First leader Winston Peters, saying the two parties shared goals to have a net zero carbon economy and revitalise the country's rail network and regional economies.

"I know our parties don't agree on everything, but now is the time to put those differences aside and to work together to create a Government of change that New Zealanders wanted," he said.

Mr Shaw also welcomed the likely inclusion of Chloe Swarbrick into Parliament as the country's youngest MP and tipped Golriz Ghahraman to also make it as the first refugee into the House once special and international votes were counted.

Ms Ghahraman hoped to bring a diverse voice to New Zealand politics.

"It matters to have a Middle Eastern woman, who arrived here a child asylum seeker being part of the House of Representatives in this country."

All over for Metiria Turei

Trailing Labour's Rino Tirikatene by almost 4000 votes, Ms Turei's political career appears to be over for now.

In Parliament since 2002, she stepped out of the co-leadership and off the party's list after a gamble to reveal her past of welfare fraud backfired.

The subsequent scrutiny also revealed alleged electoral fraud.

NZN / Newshub.