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Saturday, May 30

Green Party Elects Metiria Turei Co-Leader

The Green Party elected Metiria Turei its new female Co-Leader today.

Mrs Turei was elected by delegates at the Green Party's AGM in Dunedin.

"It's a new face and new energy for the co-leadership, but it's dedicated to the same cause and values that the Green Party has always stood for," Mrs Turei said.

The new appointee will share leadership responsibility of the Green Party with male Co-Leader Russel Norman.

Mrs Turei replaces the long-serving Jeanette Fitzsimons who has stepped down after 14 years in the position.

The Party's priorities remained the same Mrs Turei said: "We'll continue to promote plans that tackle the economic and environmental crises at the same time.  The $323 million home insulation fund in this week's Budget is a good example of this type of Green New Deal program.

"We also remain committed to protecting New Zealand's water, land and wildlife and to promoting honest politics.  These are fundamental to the Green Party."

Mrs Turei, now in her seventh year as a Green MP, has previously served as the Party's musterer (whip). The Dunedin-based list MP was formerly a resource management lawyer at Simpson Grierson, and Tumuaki Wahine, Te Hunga Roia Maori o Aotearoa (Co-President of the NZ Maori Lawyers Association).  Born and raised in Palmerston North, Mrs Turei has also worked as an advocate for the unemployed.

Outgoing Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said the Party was in good hands: "We were spoiled for choice with two strong candidates and Metiria has a great mix of experience and new energy.  It is the right time to pass the torch and I think she will form a very strong leadership team with Russel."

After the election result, Ms Bradford confirmed that she planned to continue work as a Green Party MP.

Conference delegates representing the Green Party's electorate branches voted on the co-leadership, as the Party's constitution calls for one male and one female co-leader. The last time a position was contested was 2006 following the death of Rod Donald.

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