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Leadership change for Mana Motuhake

2 June 2001 (for immediate release) Media Statement

Leadership change for Mana Motuhake

Cabinet Minister Sandra Lee has confirmed that Willie Jackson MP has been elected today as leader of Mana Motuhake after he contested the leadership.

The vote was moved forward to become the first item of business at the party’s Hui-a-tau at Nga Whare Waatea marae in South Auckland where members are attending the annual general meeting this weekend.

Ms Lee said Willie Jackson’s platform of wanting to re-energise the party drew support from new party members who exercised their ability to vote at the conference in favour of him leading Mana Motuhake into an era with a new focus.

“Unfortunately I didn’t have the numbers on the day, and that’s politics in a democracy,” Ms Lee said. “My duties as Alliance deputy leader and as a Cabinet Minister have demanded an increasing amount of my time and allowed much less for Mana Motuhake political activity. I have been conscious that my wider responsibilities to the Alliance and my role in Cabinet have precluded me from spending time on party organisational matters.

“I was given the courtesy by Willie prior to the commencement of today’s meeting of withdrawing my name, but Mana Motuhake is about democracy in action, and at the request of my kaumatua I left my name in the leadership ballot.”

Ms Lee said Alliance leader Jim Anderton gave up the leadership of the New Labour Party some time ago in order to advance the cause of the Alliance as a whole. “Like my leader, Jim Anderton, I will now continue my work to advance the cause of the entire Alliance movement and my own Mana Motuhake party.”

Ms Lee’s address to the conference today focussed on the major achievements of the Labour-Alliance coalition. She has pledged that she will work to ensure Mana Motuhake remains committed to continuing a full and active role within the Labour-Alliance coalition government.


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