The hurting Green Party closed ranks yesterday in the wake of co-leader Metiria Turei's resignation on Wednesday, with only party leader James Shaw fronting the issue.
Following a week of political turmoil, a Newshub poll released on Wednesday night had the Greens' support dropping to 8.3 percent. Ms Turei's resignation came shortly before the poll was released, with pundits speculating on whether the poll, or the pressure on Ms Turei's family, was the real reason for her standing down.
Green Party candidate for Whanganui Nicola Patrick said yesterday she was unable to respond to the Wanganui Chronicle's questions as Mr Shaw was the only person with a mandate to speak on behalf of the party about the resignation.
However, Ms Patrick posted a comment on the Chronicle Facebook page on Wednesday evening, saying "I'm feeling deeply sad about this situation - now is the time we need to vote to show that it's not ok for a good, brave woman to be driven out of Parliament".
Ms Patrick also posted on her public Facebook page:
"I didn't know what to say to encapsulate the sadness I feel and the respect I hold for Metiria Stanton Turei, who has done all she can to create a change in the way we talk about poverty and people on benefits in NZ. But then I saw (a Facebook post), from the amazing Emily Writes, and realised it doesn't matter about the words - it matters about the action. And that's what Metiria has done - stood up for people without a voice, taken a huge personal and political risk, and been prepared to pay the (unfair and unjustified) price. She is the heart of the Greens. I will keep fighting for a change in our systems to make this place better for all, to care for our planet and to treat people with dignity. Kia kaha Metiria - you've made a positive difference. I'm just so pleased and proud that we have an incredibly deep list of talented, kind, intelligent and caring people coming up behind you, inspired by your vision and your action."
Green Party Whanganui branch convenor Jan Harrison, in a statement, acknowledged Ms Turei's work.
"Metiria Turei has been a servant for the Green Party, the environment and for our people for many years. Her dedication and commitment have been unparalleled and we recognise that in Whanganui as much as across the country.
"The Green Party is determined to continue to work for the thousands of people who (have) come forward with their stories since Metiria launched our Mending the Safety Net policy on 16 July. Metiria has above all else been an inspiration for this."