2 mins to read

Shearer: Maori Party finished; leadership ultimatum talk 'nonsensical'

Anonymous Labour MP suggests if Shearer doesn't improve his poll standing in the next two months he will lose the leadership.

NBR staff
Sun, 30 Jun 2013

Labour leader David Shearer has told TV One’s Q+A programme that the Maori Party is finished after placing third in the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election on Saturday.

Labour’s candidate Meka Whaitiri won the Maori seat comfortably gaining more than 40 per cent of the vote, followed by Mana Party’s Te Hamua Nikora on around 24 per cent and the Maori Party’s Na Raihania on 20 per cent.

“I think the Maori Party is finished, frankly. I mean, I do think it’s going to slide away to nothing.” David Shearer said.

He said leadership issues within the Maori Party as well as being in coalition with National in government has damaged support for the Maori Party.

But Mr Shearer dismissed his own leadership woes brought about after a recent poll showed support for Labour dropping and rumours he had been given two months to lift his performance or face a leadership challenge.

Mr Shearer told deputy political editor Jessica Mutch that he had the full support of the Labour caucus and dismissed talk of a deadline to lift his game as “nonsensical”.

“I know what’s out there. What’s happening is a great deal of volatility and a huge amount of soft vote, and what it’s doing is sloshing around, and people are not focused on an election, they’re not focused on politics," the Labour leader said.

Mr Shearer declined to answer questions about reports on TV3 and TVOne quoting an anonymous Labour MP  as suggesting that if he didn’t improve his standing in the next two months in the polls he would lose the leadership.

“Well who is this MP, there's anonymous comments out there,” he said.

“I don’t know who this MP is.

“I haven't heard anything like that.

“I asked my colleagues, they haven't heard anything about it.

“So if this person's not willing to come forward why should I talk about them?”

He said he  believed the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election was a stepping stone on Labour’s quest to win back all the Maori seats they once had.

“We're going to be going out there and contesting these Maori seats really heavily.  And I believe we have

Watch the full interview here.

NBR staff
Sun, 30 Jun 2013
© All content copyright NBR. Do not reproduce in any form without permission, even if you have a paid subscription.
Shearer: Maori Party finished; leadership ultimatum talk 'nonsensical'