12 Apr 2011

Labour list seen as handing election to National

9:11 am on 12 April 2011

Former Labour MP Dover Samuels, says the party's list moderating committee has handed National the election on a plate by packing the list with poorly-performing unionists and backroom hacks.

The former Te Tai Tokerau MP says the party has failed to come up with a list that will appeal to ordinary New Zealand voters, including the party's dwindling number of Maori supporters.

He said hard working Maori MPs like Shane Jones and Kelvin Davis, and 'outstanding' candidates like Northland's Lynette Stewart, have been shunted down the list by people with no public appeal or vote-winning ability.

He told Waatea News it's bizarre that Deborah Mahuta-Coyle, a Parliamentary researcher, is in the 26th spot, while Ms Stewart from Ngati Wai, is at 39.

They've got to pull their heads out of their egos, he said. They have lost touch with the grass roots. Here we go again. Pokarekare ana.

Mr Samuels said the factions that make up the modern Labour Party need to set aside their egos and work for the good of the whole party.

He said Labour is losing a lot of its older Labour supporters to a resurgent New Zealand First Party.