14 Feb 2017

Poto Williams' comments dealt with 'confidentially'

3:34 pm on 14 February 2017
Poto Williams, left, and Willie Jackson.

Poto Williams, left, and Willie Jackson. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly / Supplied

Labour leader Andrew Little says he has dealt with one of his MPs, Poto Williams, "confidentially" after she promised she would not make any public comments about Willie Jackson, then went ahead and issued a public statement.

Ms Williams took to Facebook to express her opposition to Mr Jackson being confirmed as a Labour list candidate by Mr Little, within hours of his announcement at Waitangi.

Mr Little said he had spoken to Ms Williams about the matter.

"We had a discussion about her concerns and we talked about caucus being the opportunity to raise that, and she agreed that was the place to have those discussions.

Mr Little said he dealt with the fact she had made a promise not to go public, then went ahead and put a statement "on a confidential basis".

"I'm not going to go into the caucus discussion we had last week, discussions that have happened since between and involving a lot of people, but I think every caucus member is absolutely aware of the expectations of them."

Mr Little said he did believe his MPs had been "kept in the dark" about the Jackson announcement.

"Not every MP knows absolutely everything I'm doing at any time, but I conduct proper consultation and did so and stand by my judgement call.

He attributed Ms Williams actions to her "passion" about things she believed in.

"People say and do things sometimes that later they wish they hadn't - that just happens, that's just life, but we've had a good discussion about it".

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