Politics | Investigation

Darleen Tana resigns from Green Party, asked to resign as MP too

WATCH: The Green Party holds a press conference over the ongoing Darleen Tana investigation.

The Green Party’s caucus has unanimously voted to ask Darleen Tana to resign as an MP.

At a press conference this afternoon, party co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick said Tana’s behaviour had fallen far short of the party’s expectations.

The now-former Green MP, of Ngāpuhi descent, was suspended in mid-March after claims she was linked to migrant exploitation at her husband’s company.

Tana has remained suspended with full pay until now, while barrister Rachel Burt conducted a months-long investigation which had cost $43,000 as of mid-May.

Green Party co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick at a press conference this afternoon, flanked by fellow Green MPs Teanau Tuiono and Ricardo Menéndez March.

In a press conference this afternoon, party co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick said the Greens’ leadership received Burt’s report on Friday evening, with a caucus meeting tabled for the following day.

Tana and her lawyer made a presentation at that meeting, and she wrote to the Greens’ leadership to resign from the party before a decision on her fate was taken, according to Swarbrick.

“After being told of her resignation as a party member, caucus proceeded to unanimously endorse the recommendation of the co-leaders; to request the resignation of Darleen Tana, not just from the party but from Parliament as well.”

Swarbrick said the details had not yet been shared with all the people named in the executive summary, but that the summary would be made public once they had.

“To be clear, our preference would have been the immediate release of the full report but we must continue to follow good practice around privacy rights and law.”

Chlöe Swarbrick fronts a press conference on the findings of the Darleen Tana investigation.

Speaking to media, Swarbrick said Tana had yet to respond to the substance of their request for her to resign as an MP, but that the Speaker of the House Gerry Brownlee had been advised of the party’s recommendation.

She said she had made multiple attempts to contact Tana, as had fellow MP Teanau Tuiono, chair of Te Mātāwaka, the Māori and Pasifika caucus.

Timeline of the investigation

Today marks 115 days since she was stood down, meaning she spent exactly half of her political career suspended and as the subject of an investigation.

The allegations arose in February after Tana told the party a complaint had been made to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) by a worker at her husband’s business, E-Bikes NZ.

The party was then notified of a second complaint, and Tana was stood down when it became apparent she may have failed to report the issue as soon as she knew about it.

In the intervening months, the party also referred Tana to the Electoral Commission over an apparent failure to include an authorisation statement on a campaign advert published in Verve Magazine.

The Electoral Commission subsequently referred both Tana and the magazine to the Police.