David Shearer: Sharples Resignation & Labour's Election Win
David Shearer: Pita Sharples Resignation | Labour's By-Election Success
David Shearer's weekly pre-caucus press conference - 2 July 2013
By Hamish Cardwell
Labour leader David Shearer discusses the resignation of Pita Sharples as co-leader of the Maori Party, Labour's by-election win and the GCSB hearings at his weekly pre-caucus press conference in Wellington.
At his weekly pre-caucus press conference Labour leader David Shearer said Pita Sharples had made a tough decision to step down as co-leader of the Maori Party, but he did not believe the problems with the party were about leadership.
“It is the fact that they are in with National. They are part of the government and Maori have simply not been able to see the returns from that.”
This explained why the Mana Party had come second in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election ahead of the Maori Party, he said.
Mr Shearer said he had “a huge amount of time” for Te Ururoa Flavell, who had been tipped to be the likely new Maori Party co-leader.
“He was once a member of the Labour Party so his instincts are right.”
The Labour party had a real opportunity to take out all the the Maori seats at the next election, he said.
Labour's newest MP Meka Whaitiri accompanied Mr Shearer to her first caucus meeting this morning after she won the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election at the weekend.
Ms Whaitiri said she was relieved and excited to take up her new position.
“It has been a hard campaign, six intensive weeks. I am lucky to be here and looking forward to caucus.”
It was too soon to say what portfolios she would take on, Ms Whaitiri said.
Mr Shearer also answered questions about the GCSB hearings which begins this afternoon.