Despite the resignation of notable front-bencher Shane Jones this week, and stagnant political polling, Labour party president Moira Coatsworth is adamant the Labour party is in its strongest position in a while, with the biggest membership in 30 years.
Asked by Q+A’s Rachel Smalley about Mr Jones’ resignation, Ms Coatsworth denied it was a negative for the party, although she said and the party were sad to see him go.
“He’s a loss, but he’s handed the batten to Kelvin Davis, who will hit the ground running,” she said.
While she says Labour didn’t know about Mr Jones’ conversations with National, she did know Shane was unhappy as he had told her “the fuel’s gone out of the tank”.
Ms Coatsworth said the role of ‘working class hero’ would now be filled by up and coming members of the Maori caucus, and that the party was finding new candidates in areas that it had previously struggled to get representation in, suggesting the party’s fortunes were on the up.
She said there would be “more renewal” as Labour approached the election, but wouldn’t disclose the details.