A suddenly tumultuous New Zealand election campaign was rocked by the resignation of another party leader on Wednesday, just over a week after the leader of the country’s largest opposition party also quit. The resignation on Wednesday of Metiria Turei, the Green Party’s co-leader, came after her party surged in the polls following her candid admission last month that she had lied to the government about her living situation while on welfare as a single mother in the 1990s. The revelation stole the political spotlight from the larger Labour Party before the Sept. 23 general election, and started a polarizing conversation in New Zealand about poverty and the challenges of surviving on welfare. But Mrs. Turei’s admissions also led opponents and reporters to dig into her past, prompting more revelations about her living situation while on welfare and the disclosure that she had lied about where she lived in order to cast a vote for a friend seeking office.
She said on Wednesday that she would leave her party post because her family was suffering “unbearable” scrutiny after the disclosures. Her resignation, announced during an interview with Radio New Zealand, a public broadcaster, came after it questioned her via email earlier in the day about her past.
She remains a member of Parliament until the election, when she will retire.
She said on Wednesday that the party had not asked her to quit and that she was only doing so because of the impact on her family.