Shaw calls for calm, defends media

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Wellington
Green Party leader James Shaw is advising his MPs to keep level heads as passions run high following the sudden resignation of Metiria Turei.
Ms Turei quit as co-leader this week, citing the intense scrutiny on her family and the damage she was doing to the Greens’ election chances after saying she committed benefit fraud in the early 1990s.
The party was in crisis talks for most of yesterday as they reassessed their campaign including everything from billboards to slogans to road trip routes.
Mr Shaw said it had been a tough week for the Green Party caucus.
“Passions are running high. I think people need to breathe through their noses and steady the ship and just get on with the campaign.”
Some supporters have lashed out at media on-line, accusing reporters of hounding Ms Turei out of Parliament.
However, Mr Shaw said he had “absolutely no hard feelings” for the media.
“In my view, the media have just been doing their job. Some of the interviews have been really tough, but they should have been tough.
“People should just calm down and realise everyone’s just doing their job.”
Earlier in the week, MP Julie-Anne Genter criticised media coverage of the story as a “distraction”.
The party’s executive is also weighing the future of MP Kennedy Graham.
Earlier this week Dr Graham and fellow MP David Clendon pulled their support for Ms Turei.
Mr Clendon said some colleagues were still bitter. “Certainly it’s painful at the moment. There is a lot of unease and some fairly raw feelings.
“We could equally be angry about some of what’s been thrown at us in the last few days.” NZN

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