22 Aug 2013

Maori Party extends sympathy to Shearer

7:31 pm on 22 August 2013

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says it is unfortunate that Labour leader David Shearer has chosen another path.

On Thursday afternoon the Labour leader announced he was stepping down as leader, because the party's polling had not lifted as much as they'd wanted.

Mr Flavell became the co-leader of the Maori Party after challenging former leader, Pita Sharples, who stood down in July.

He says politics is a tough game and extends his sympathy to Mr Shearer.

He says it's a fair responsibility being the leader of the Labour Party and Mr Shearer came in with the best intentions for the party, and himself.

Mr Flavell says he is surprised by how quick this happened but says it wasn't unexpected.

The Maori Party questions whether a new Labour leader will result in more responsibility for Maori MP's within the Labour party.

Mr Flavell says Labour has sidelined all but one of its Maori MP's to the backbench, and has failed to answer Maoridom's calls for more involvement at the top level.

He questions whether that will change under new leadership.

Mr Flavell says politics is a tough game and not for the faint hearted.