2 May 2017

Jackson has 'accepted his place' on Labour list - Little

8:40 am on 2 May 2017

Labour leader Andrew Little has confirmed Willie Jackson was disappointed with the slot he had been given in the party list for September's general election.

Willie Jackson at Waitangi, 2017.

Labour candidate Willie Jackson has been confirmed as 21 on the list. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

An announcement had been expected yesterday but Labour postponed it until this morning without giving a reason.

It was understood Labour candidate Willie Jackson had been unhappy with his placement and expressed that view to the party's moderating committee.

Read the full Labour Party list here.

Speaking to Morning Report today, Mr Little confirmed Mr Jackson, and "a few others" had expressed disappointment with the slots they had been given.

"I had a conversation with him and we got it settled and he's accepted his place."

Mr Little said he had backed Mr Jackson to get a winnable place on the list and he got that.

He has also been appointed Labour's Māori campaign director for the election.

He was given the role because of his ability to connect with young Māori in urban areas, Labour's Māori senior vice president Tane Phillips said.

Watch the full Morning Report interview with Andrew Little here:

Labour's 2017 list had a depth of talent that the party had not had for many elections, he said.

Mr Jackson has now been confirmed as 21st on the list, while the highest ranking non-MP is Priyanca Radhakrishnan who is 11th.

The top spots are taken by Labour's leader Andrew Little, Jacinda Ardern, Grant Robertson, Phil Twyford and Megan Woods.

Trevor Mallard is the lowest ranked MP on the list at 32nd.

In a statement, Labour Party President Nigel Haworth said the party's moderating committee met over the weekend to consider the candidates for the party list.

"I am excited that Labour will take into the general election a strong caucus supported by a fresh team of candidates who reflect New Zealand's diversity," he said.

And Mr Little said he wanted a party list that was as "reflective and representative of New Zealand as possible".

"This is a list that achieves that," he said.

Former Labour president Mike Williams earlier said the party's decision to delay its list announcement was unprecedented, but not against its rules.

Labour's list is decided by its moderating committee, which includes the party's ruling council and the party's leader, deputy and another MP elected by caucus.

The committee has to follow party rules, including ranking the list to make sure half of the caucus are women.

The National Party list is expected to be out in August.

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