August 28, 2013
Jones forces Labour to consider Māori vote
Former Alliance deputy leader Sandra Lee is hailing Shane Jones run for the Labour Party leadership as important for Māori.
Mr Jones is being described by media as the underdog in the race with David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson, but Ms Lee says Māori know that is not a term that sits well on the Northland-based list MP.
She says despite positioning himself as the candidate for the smoko room, Mr Jones is probably the most intellectual person in parliament, and putting his hand up is a strategic move.
"He’s forcing Labour to confront the Labour and would-be-Labour Māori electorate vote. He’s forced an MMP election on Labour. If it had been a two-horse race it would have been a first past the post election. And he has probably secured for himself the seat currently held by Pita Sharples, from the media profile he will get from this, and at the very least also secured himself a major portfolio in any next Labour Government," Mrs Lee says.
Labour needs to listen to its Māori supporters, because it has surrendered the initiative to National in areas like treaty settlements.
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