Māori Party president resigns and calls for co-leaders to follow suit

By Heta Gardiner

The Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan has announced his resignation and has called for the party's co-leaders to follow suit.

Te Kāea obtained a party newsletter that is being distributed amongst some members which contains the president’s resignation.

"I am resigning immediately as president of the Māori Party because it is the right thing to do" Morgan says in the letter.

The letter also calls for Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox to resign, saying "Both co-leaders Te Ururoa and Marama should stand down and allow fresh talent to step up."

Flavell has already announced that he has no intention of standing in the next election and has indicated that the party needs a fresh start.

However, Marama Fox was seen as a likely pairing with Dr Lance O’Sullivan as the party’s next leadership team.

Fox told Te Kāea she was comfortable with Morgan’s comments and that she would still be happy to stand as co-leader again. 

However, she also acknowledged the desire for change and indicated she would be accepting if the party decided to go in a new direction.  

Morgan's letter also takes aim at the party’s constitution, saying, "Many parts are not workable and the party has become far too bureaucratic."

He also describes the relationship between the parliamentary wing and national executive of the party as sometimes "dysfunctional and unacceptable". 

Morgan, who was appointed halfway through the last term of parliament, still has a year left to serve as president.

It is not known who will become the next party president or when an appointment will be made.