Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson is coming to the defence of her MP Chlöe Swarbrick, after a rival candidate dismissed her as a "celebrity".
Labour candidate Helen White is vying for the Auckland Central electorate seat, up against Ms Swarbrick. The incumbent, National's Nikki Kaye, is retiring at the election and a replacement candidate hasn't yet been announced.
During the weekend, Ms White suggested Ms Swarbrick was a "celebrity", telling RNZ: "I'd ask [voters] whether they're looking for a celebrity or someone to do this job very seriously."
Ms Davidson has fired back, defending the Green MP.
"I think it's clear and plain for people to see how hard and how much substance Chloe has brought to the entire nation's political discourse," she told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.
"The achievements she has gained in mental health support, in reforming drug law, so that we're making it a health issue and not a criminal issue, in education.
"She's incredible and I'm really proud of how much of a hardworking, impactful MP she always has been."
Ms Davidson is hopeful for the party's future after a Reid Research poll showed the majority of voters would prefer a partnership Government rather than a single party in charge.
She says the Green Party has worked hard in the coalition Government and wants to continue that work.
"We've made progress on absolutely all of it. We've achieved nearly all of it. We also know we need to go further and faster," she says.
"We know people care about these issues. We've come through Covid-19. People have really had time to reflect on the strength of the social safety net, that we do take care of each other, that we do take care of our environment, that we do take strong action for future generations for our planet, and the Greens have shown that we are the party to fight for those issues, to put up the progressive changes."
The Green Party unveiled its policy platform yesterday, with a focus on transitioning to a green economy, as well as tax and welfare reform.