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Metiria Turei has been elected as the Green Party's new co-leader at the party's annual conference today.

Ms Turei campaigned on a platform of being a fresh face against better-known Green MP Sue Bradford.

They were the two contenders for the job after Jeanette Fitzsimons' decision to stand down from the post after 14 years.

Ms Turei, 39, has a lower public profile, but earned respect in her role behind the scenes as the party's musterer (whip). She has said the role gave her valuable people-management skills as well as working with other parties.

Ms Turei will join Russel Norman at the helm of the party, which has just signed up to a memorandum of understanding with the National Party to work on specific projects such as the new home insulation fund unveiled in the Budget.

Unlike other political parties, the Green co-leaders are selected by members rather than the caucus.

Although Ms Bradford had said she was the underdog in the build-up to the election, the delegates vote will be a blow for her. She has been an impact player for the Greens and is one of their highest profile MPs.

She pushed through members bills securing the passage of the anti-smacking law, increasing the minimum youth wage to equal the adult minimum wage and increasing the time mothers can keep babies with them in prisons.

However, there were some concerns she was too polarising, because of her involvement in the anti-smacking bill.

The decision is an important one for the future of the party and was also a vote on the direction members want the party to take.

The two had different views on the future direction of the party. Ms Turei believed the party should work to get gains regardless of who was in government and is more open to dealing with the National Party.

Ms Bradford believed the party needed to be more radical and take more risks to increase its vote. She was also more averse to working with National, concerned in case it damaged the Greens principles.