9 May 2011

Labour looking likely to take part in by-election

3:32 pm on 9 May 2011

Labour leader Phil Goff has given a strong indication that Labour will fight the Te Tai Tokerau by-election likely to be triggered by the resignation of the electorate's MP, Hone Harawira.

The Maori Party has already confirmed it will put up a candidate against Mr Harawira, a former Maori Party MP who has said he will resign and seek a fresh mandate for his newly launched Mana Party.

Mr Goff says the by-election is a family feud between the Maori Party and Mr Harawira's breakaway group.

"Neither of those parties are focussed on the issues that are worrying Maori people," he says. "The fact that the level of unemployment among Maori went up in the last quarter, the cost of living, the sale of assets.

"If there's going to be a by-election, and we're going to go to the unnecessary expense that that entails, then I'd like to see a Labour alternative there. But that's a decision that will be made collectively."

Mr Goff says the Labour Party's ruling council will meet on Monday night to discuss the by-election.