27 Feb 2013

Departing Labour MP calls for unity in caucus

9:38 pm on 27 February 2013

Departing MP Charles Chauvel has delivered his final speech to Parliament, telling his Labour colleagues they must heal caucus rifts in order to be successful at the 2014 election.

Mr Chauvel is resigning from Parliament to take up a position with the United Nations in New York.

He delivered his valedictory speech to the House on Wednesday evening, saying he sincerely hopes that Labour leader David Shearer will be prime minister after the election.

Mr Chauvel then told Parliament it is unproductive to keep trying to locate and exclude the supposed enemy within - alluding to speculation about Labour MP David Cunliffe's leadership ambitions.

"Instead in order to avoid history repeating, it's time for an honest, open and overdue assessment of why the 2011 campaign produced Labour's worst ever electoral result.

"Those responsible for it should make dignified exits, and all the undoubted talent and diversity of the caucus should be included in the shadow cabinet."

Mr Chauvel has accepted a position with the UN advising on parliamentary development and democratic governance and said he is looking forward to a new challenge.

Earlier in February, he said regrets that he will not be able to be part of a future Labour government, but the opportunity is too good to miss.