24th April 2002
Labour MP John Tamihere warned his party today it risked losing Maori candidates to a breakaway party, if they weren't given high enough rankings on the Labour list.
This weekend Labour will become the first party to finalise its rankings for the next election.
Louisa Wall, helped the Black Ferns win the Women's Rugby world cup back in 1998.
Now the 30-year-old, who's also played netball for the Silver Ferns, is a high flyer off the field...tipped as a certain Labour MP.
Labour candidate Louisa Wall says: "In terms of who I represent, I'm young, I'm female, I'm Maori, in terms of my sexuality, I have a female partner, I believe there are quite a few groups I can speak for."
But Labour MP John Tamihere's making a push for at least four new Maori list MPs like Wall, on top of seven electorate MPs, to create a more powerful Labour Maori block in Parliament.
Labour MP John Tamihere's says: "You'd expect tussle but you expect you've got to retain the vote and defend against the seduction of people wanting to split away and form their own party."
But the Labour hierarchy says the threat's not there.
Labour president Mike Williams says: "I don't think he's right. Labour's got a large Maori block, a well organised Maori block in Parliament already. And there will be other ones."
28-year-old microbiologist Moana Mackey, daughter of East Coast MP Janet Mackey, is also a near certainty, also backed by the Maori council.
Labour candidate Moana Mackey says: "The Maori candidates that are stepping up are so diverse, they're probably going to get on more than just being Maori, anyway."
Also expected to be so high on the list so they WILL be MPs... United Nations aid worker David Shearer, who's worked in Bosnia and Somalia and now Afghanistan, and Family Planning executive Gill Greer.
Labour's got 49 MPs now. and if the polling stays around 50 per cent, it will get at least another 12 MPs, most of them off the party list list.
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