O’Sullivan not standing for Māori Party leadership at AGM

By Heta Gardiner

The Māori Party AGM is this weekend, but there will be one name off the list in the leadership candidates for the Māori Party and that’s Dr. Lance O’Sullivan.    

O’Sullivan told Te Kāea reporter Heta Gardiner “I don't have any immediate desire to put my hand forward for any leadership role for the Māori Party.”

The former New Zealander of the year’s name has often been spoken about as a potential successor to Te Ururoa Flavell as the leader of the Māori Party. He is a long-time supporter of the party, his face plastered on their billboards in the last two elections. He also committed to standing for the Māori Party in the 2022 election and showed interest in the leadership of the party as recently as December, telling Te Kāea “If there was in the opportunity to lead the Māori Party, I would be very keen to do that.”

But he says some aren't agreeable with the direction he wants to take the party. One of his suggestions to have a single leader found opposition from current female co-leader Marama Fox and former female co-leader and founder of the party Dame Tariana Turia.

“There has been some indication that the thoughts I have are not so agreeable to others so I'm just sitting back and seeing where I'd stand there.”

O’Sullivan is still deciding what direction he'll take his political ambition. “To be honest it's unclear for me at the moment what role and my involvement in politics will look like in the 2020 election. I can almost guarantee there will be a role in the 2020 election, what that role might be, I'm just not sure what that will look like.”