Labour's Māori seat MPs will stand as electorate MPs only and not go on the party list in this year's elections. The announcement was made by Labour leader Andrew Little in Parliament this afternoon.
The contest is on for the Māori seats.
Labour Party leader Andrew Little says, “I am announcing that all of the Māori seat MP's will be taken off the Labour Party list.”
In the past Labour's Māori seat MP's have gone on the list, giving some a safety net to still get into parliament if they lose in the Māori electorates.
Little says, “If Māori on the Māori roll in the Māori seats want the strongest Māori voice it is the Labour voice.”
It is a surprise move but if it backfires, there could be less Māori Labour MPs in parliament after the election. And their response to the possibility of losing the Māori seats?
Kelvin Davis, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau says, “We're backing ourselves in the first instance. We're not even contemplating that.”
The Māori Party says this is further evidence of poor treatment of Labours Māori seat MP's.
I feel sorry for them. This is how the MP's are treated in Labour, first Nanaia lost her high list position, then Willie Jackson jumped ahead of them all and now they're off the list. Poor them!
The election in 6 months will determine whether the move pays off.