Labour party looks for new president

Bryce Edwards tips Porirua mayor as a replacement.

Labour is on the hunt for a new president as Moira Coatsworth has resigned.

She confirmed she will resign yesterday, a week after Andrew Little has been elected leader.

Ms Coatsworth says she is standing down next month after more than three years in the job.

She told Radio NZ she wants to see a new president working with Mr Little as the new leader.

She says nominations will be called for mid-December and a vote held in February.

Political commentator Bryce Edwards says Ms Coatsworth’s days were always numbered.

“She presided over Labour receiving an historically low electoral vote and seems to have amassed a number of ciritics within her party,” he says.

He suggests Porirua mayor Nick Leggett is the front-runner for the job, despite being more on the more conservative and centrist side of the party.

“However he is more in line with Andrew Little’s approach on where he wants to take Labour in the sense of shifting Labour to be focused on issues around economics and interests of those in work,” Dr Edwards says.

The Otago University politics lecturer says Mr Little will take really strong interest in who becomes president because if he is going to shake up the whole party he is going to need someone aligned to him. 

“If he is going to get rid for some of the dead wood he needs help from the party outside Parliament," Dr Edwards says.

vyoung@nbr.co.nz