7 May 2017

Kelvin Davis defends Labour's Māori rankings

4:48 pm on 7 May 2017

Labour's party list is a "total victory" for Māori despite no Māori being ranked in the top 15, MP Kelvin Davis says.

Kelvin Davis

Kelvin Davis Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Willow-Jane Prime is the party's highest-ranked Māori candidate, at number 16 on the list.

But Mr Davis, who was unranked and would instead defend his Te Tai Tokerau seat, told TV3's The Hui that the party strategy of not having its Māori electorate MPs stand on the list had been successful.

On current polling, there would be 12 Māori MPs in the Labour caucus after the election, he said.

"We're going to have double figures of Maori - this is going to be history-making."

He was confident Labour would retain its six Māori seats and bring in several others off the list, including Ms Prime, Kiri Allan and Willie Jackson.

Labour leader Andrew Little delayed releasing the party's list rankings by a day, after some candidates complained about their placings.

Mr Little confirmed some people on the list were upset, including Willie Jackson, who flew to Wellington to make his disappointment clear, and Sue Moroney, who ended up quitting.

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