December 11, 2012
Henare profile raised through tilt for position
Labour's Shane Jones believes Tau Henare's tilt for the speaker's role would not have hurt the National List MP.
Mr Henare dropped out of the race last week, telling his followers on Twitter that the Māori Party were no longer supporting him because they were scaredy cats.
Maurice Williamson and David Carter are the front runners to take over the job when Lockwood Smith becomes New Zealand's representative in London.
Mr Jones says while having his fellow Ngāpuhi as the speaker would have livened up the house, it was always a long shot he could round up enough support to win.
"Of more relevance to Tau probably is that Senior National Party caucus members, not the least of which is the prime minister, look after him. He's been there six years, he's been a very loyal foot-soldier to them and let's face it, he is a polarising figure but he's got a lot of parliamentary experience and a lot of that can be transferred into another role on behalf of if not a government in the future then certainly into the community," he says.
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