Waking Up at 6am with MP Metiria Turei

The Green Party co-leader shares her weekly morning routine

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei. Picture / Supplied.

I live two lives — a work life in Wellington and a home life in Dunedin. I have become an expert at [compartmentalising] my two lives so I pay my full attention to where I am and why I’m there — it’s the only way to get the best out of both.

In Wellington, my bedsit flat is little more than an extension of my office. I set my alarm for 6am, but always wake up before it goes off. Often I have very early radio interviews or TV. TV is the hardest — trying to look awake, competent and fully made up at 6.30am and be ready to tackle Paul Henry or some minister over a hot national issue is no mean feat.

When I’m not doing TV or radio, I get up, shower, dress and head for Bowen House. My flat is very close these days, which is good and bad. It’s quick to get to work, but I used to enjoy the longer walk home at nights to previous flats, if just to unwind a little. Finishing at 10pm often means not sleeping until midnight.

At work, I have my breakfast, either eggs or yoghurt, read the papers, check Morning Report and do my regular radio interviews — BFM, Waatea, Atiawa Toa FM. I have my first meeting of the day at 8.15am where our new co-leader, James Shaw, and I meet senior staff to discuss the major political priorities for the day — what questions we’ll ask, what press releases we’ll do — and what the latest gossip is. It’s good to stay on top of the important issues, after all.

At home, in Dunedin, it’s a different story. I wake at 7am and struggle with the competing priorities of making the coffee and feeding the menagerie (two dogs and a very noisy old cat) or staying in bed and asking the husband to do it. I do most of the interviews and early meetings in bed drinking coffee. I heard Helen Clark did that too and fully understand why. When you sleep away from home most days of most weeks, your own bed is the most delicious place in the world.

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