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Julie Anne Genter returns to work... in the Chatham Islands

Thomas Coughlan,
Publish Date
Mon, 6 May 2024, 2:19pm

Julie Anne Genter returns to work... in the Chatham Islands

Thomas Coughlan,
Publish Date
Mon, 6 May 2024, 2:19pm

Under-fire Green MP Julie Anne Genter is back at work this week. She had been working from home following her altercation with National MP Matt Doocey last Wednesday, which is the subject of multiple privilege complaints to Parliament’s Speaker Gerry Brownlee.

However, Genter will not be physically in Parliament. Instead, she will be on the Chatham Islands, where she will attend the Chatham Islands Stakeholder Forum. While the Chathams are about 791km from Wellington, they are part of the Wellington electorate of Rongotai that Genter represents.

A spokesperson for the Green Party said the trip was long-planned.

“Julie Anne will be working as normal this week, including a long-planned trip to attend the annual Chatham Islands Stakeholder Forum as the MP representing the Chatham Islands,” they said.

The forum runs from Tuesday to Thursday, which are also the days that Parliament is sitting. Next week is a recess week at Parliament, meaning it could be two weeks before Genter returns to Parliament to face media and a regular Parliamentary sitting.

Brownlee told Parliament he had received complaints from multiple parties about the incident.

Brownlee has told MPs Genter has until midday Monday to respond to the complaints before he decides on referring the matter to the Privileges Committee.

New claims of Green MP’s ‘poor behaviour’

Green Party co-leaders have discussed with under-fire MP Julie Anne Genter fresh allegations of her poor behaviour.

Since Wednesday night’s incident, two members of the public have come forward with complaints about Genter’s behaviour. Cranfields owner Nicola Cranfield alleged Genter grabbed her upper arm, and gave it a little shake during a discussion about Cranfield’s position on removing car parks close to her business.

“I was pretty upset and didn’t know what to do or say. I was just not expecting her to lay a hand on me,” Cranfield told the Herald.

“It was just very odd to be grabbed by a politician.”

Cranfield said, in her view, it “wasn’t a friendly squeeze” and believed it was aimed to make her feel that Genter was in a “position of power”.

Four Seasons Florist owner Laura Newcombe has also come forward with allegations Genter tried to humiliate her after a conversation at her shop about cycleway.

Asked about the new Cranfield claims, a Green Party spokesperson said co-leaders Marama Davidson and Chlöe Swarbrick had no prior knowledge of the allegations regarding Genter which have recently come to light.

Swarbrick today told AM she and Davidson had spoken to Genter about the latest claims and were addressing them.

Both Swarbrick and Davidson have condemned Genter’s behaviour in the House and initiated a disciplinary process involving Genter, but have given few details about it.

Thomas Coughlan is Deputy Political Editor and covers politics from Parliament. He has worked for the Herald since 2021 and has worked in the press gallery since 2018.

This article was originally published on the NZ Herald here.

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