Twelve answers from Metiria Turei

Green co-leader Metiria Turei was asked twelve questions by Sarah Stuart (NZ Herald). Here are abbreviated answers.

1. Did the feminist in you rejoice at being allowed to speak at Te Tii last year?

The feminist in me rejoiced about women talking to women and respecting their authority. It was the kuia who make it possible. All I did was ask.

2. How do you think Helen Clark would have felt about it?

3. How do you feel on Waitangi Day?

I love every bit of it. The political challenges and protests are really important. Our country has been built on love and pain and we have to be honest about both.

4. Are you missing Russel yet?

Are you kidding? I have a long list of jobs he needs to do before he goes. I will miss him. He’s a very deep thinker and full of ideas and he’s prepared to have those ideas tested, which is enormously valuable.

5. Do you wish, like him, that you had spent more time with the kids?

It’s my greatest regret about taking this job 13 years ago. I missed out on my daughter’s last half of childhood

6. Your family moved around a lot when you were a child: was that the time you felt at your loneliest?

Probably. It’s difficult having to explain to other kids repeatedly who you are and why you are at their school, making friends and not worrying you might not see them again.

7. What did your parents teach you?

Generosity. No matter how little you have, you have enough to share.

8. What did your parents teach you that you’d never pass on?

I can only think of the naughty things. Like nicking other people’s firewood and the techniques we used to do that. Or sucking the cream from other people’s milk bottles then putting the lid back down. Now I feel very sorry for those people, and embarrassed.

9. You drifted for a few years after school: were you hard on yourself for not achieving over those years?

I was really. But I took this view that to do something, anything, was better than nothing. That if I kept on trying to do things, then something would happen.

10. You were a single mum at 22, and then decided to get a law degree: how did you find the confidence, the time and money?

It wasn’t really about confidence – Piupiu needed her mum to make a better life.

11. Who is your favourite National politician?

I have a lot of time for Nikki Kaye, a young woman doing very well in a very hard place. She’s got a good conscience. Tau [Henare] was my favourite. I enjoyed his caustic, high maintenance company because he is funny as hell

12. Will your time as leader be up soon too?

I believe in staggered succession and that’s the advantage of a co-leadership. We’ll see what happens after the next election.

Detailed responses: Twelve Questions: Metiria Turei

Leave a comment


  1. Brown

     /  5th February 2015

    I liked question 9. I have some news for her, she’s still not achieving.

    • kiwi_guy

       /  5th February 2015

      lol, you are channeling “Mean Girls”.

      A single parent in her early 20s got a law degree and you don’t think that is an achievement?

      Tell us all about your achievements, Brown…

  2. Kittycatkin

     /  5th February 2015

    I would guess that as a Maori she was highly subsidised to go to university. And given help when she was there. We all know that a Maori can go to law school and other places with much lower marks than their Pakeha counterpart, which means, of course, that most are being set up to fail.

    The extra help given is insulting-as if being Maori means that the person couldn’t make it on their own. One young woman at Waikato realised that she was being handed her degree although she wasn’t up to it academically, so she left rather than being given a degree that she hadn’t earned. Another at Victoria was told that because she was Maori, she could not only have extra financial help but academic help, extra time with assignments and so on. She was furious at being told (in effect) that she wasn’t as good as the Pakeha students and couldn’t be expected to keep up, as anyone would be, and went to the press about it.

    Brown, kiwiguy seems to make a habit of asking people that 🙂

  3. Brown

     /  5th February 2015

    Alas kiwiguy, I have no degree (but did achieve a couple of “top in NZ” marks in industry exams) but do not live smugly in permanent opposition at the tax payer’s expense seeking to make people’s lives poorer with socialist crap while indulging oneself in flash clothes and perks that others have to pay for. That’s not achieving anything that I value but you can be awestruck if you want.

    I growled at my very intelligent son for even considering a law degree and he’s now excelling at something useful – engineering.

  4. Kittycatkin

     /  5th February 2015

    I know that MPs do a lot more work than many people give them credit for, but I do find that the Greens have now gone into a do as I say, not as I do mode.. They seem to oppose mining and drilling but don’t feel any need not to use the products thereof.

    Remember the newborns’ baskets ? It sounded nice, but would cost millions-millions that are needed for Starship and such places, rather than being spent on handmade flax baskets for people who don’t need them.

  5. Brown

     /  6th February 2015

    I think they do it for two main reasons (but not all for both reasons):
    – They are control freaks
    – They like the money

    All the giving something back waffle is, well, just waffle.


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