Turei tells supporters she has no regrets

Metiria Turei, forced to resign as Green Party co-leader before Saturday's election, says she has no regrets.

Meanwhile, Green leader James Shaw is promising a change of Government saying, he would be on the phone to Labour leader Jacinda Ardern very soon.

Ms Turei is leaving Parliament after trailing Labour's Rino Tirikatene in the Te Tai Tonga electorate.

With 98.5% of the vote counted she is trailing Tirikatene by more than 3950 votes.

She told the Otago Daily Times last night she had no regrets about her benefit fraud admission.

People now know more about the effects of poverty because of what she did.

Ms Turei did not know what she will do next, but was happy to be back in Dunedin.

She accepted the results and said the Green Party had done worse in the past.

Her party was hurt by the Labour surge and would be helped by the special votes.

Ms Turei was removed from the Green Party list when she stepped down as co-leader after she admitted to benefit fraud 20 years ago.

She came under growing pressure after she admitted to the historical offending and eventually gave up her position after eight years as co-leader.

When she stepped down in August, Ms Turei said that if she continued as co leader it would undermine all the Green Party's hard work over many years.

The scrutiny, which had "become unbearable, frankly" was the main reason for standing down, she said.

She has been a member of parliament since 2002.

Speaking to a large crowd at the Green Party headquarters in downtown Auckland tonight Mr Shaw said he was happy with tonight's results.

"And so should you be, because current indications are that the three opposition parties command a majority of votes once the specials and overseas votes will have been counted.''

He told the crowd he would be giving Ardern a call soon - and then appealed to NZ First leader Winston Peters to join them.

He said it was time to put their differences aside and to create a new government of change.

"New Zealanders have voted for change,'' Shaw shouted as the crowd erupted in applause.

"This has been the fight of our lives and we are still here. We are still standing,'' Shaw said.

"Our environment - nature still has a voice in Parliament.''

Shaw acknowledged that the Greens had been written off so many times, but they had come back "every single time'' thanks to supporters.

• CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story said Metiria Turei had told supporters she did not regret her benefit fraud admission. In fact, the statement was made in response to a question from the Otago Daily Times.

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