Top Green Party staffers resign

Greens leader James Shaw
Greens leader James Shaw

The Green Party has been hit by more turmoil after its political director resigns with just weeks to go until the election.

The party's chief of staff Deborah Morris-Travers has also left the position, however she will keep working for the Greens on a special anti-poverty project.

Communications specialist Joss Debreceny has resigned as political director.

The Green Party is in a fight for survival after Metiria Turei's resignation as co-leader earlier this month, after she came under growing pressure following her admission to historical offending while on the benefit 20 years ago.

Green MPs Kennedy Graham and David Clendon had earlier announced they were withdrawing from the party list in protest at Ms Turei staying on as co-leader.

James Shaw will now lead the party into the September 23 election.

The party's support fell 11 points to 4% in the latest One News-Colmar Brunton poll, which came a week after Ms Turei resigned.

A result of less than 5% would mean the Greens would not return to Parliament unless they won an electorate seat, which they have achieved only once in their history.

Tory Whanau has been appointed acting chief of staff.

Ms Morris-Travers was appointed chief of staff in May last year. She was an MP from 1996 to 1999, first with NZ First and then as an independent. She was a minister in the National Party-NZ First coalition.

Mr Debreceny was also appointed in May last year, having previously worked in communications in both the public and private sector.

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