September 09, 2013
Jones emerges as force in race
A long time Labour activist says Shane Jones has made the contest for the leadership far more exciting than if it had been a two horse race.
Shane Te Pou has attended six of the nine hustings meetings run so far to let members hear from the three candidates, Mr Jones, David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson.
He says new polls showing Mr Jones running second to Mr Cunliffe confirm the mood of the meeting, and show that he is appealing to many of the 880,000 New Zealanders who stayed away last election.
The best response was at the Hastings hui.
"That really was the one hui that was identifiably Maori and it was a measure of the support that Shane has, but at the end of the day our party is 90 years old, this is the best chance that we have had to get a Maori into a leadership position, a Maori who is qualified, who has the political nous and, if we judge it by the polls, who has solid public support," he says.
Shane Te Pou says whatever the outcome of the race, Shane Jones will be a real force to be reckoned with in the Labour Party.
The candidates are in Blackball tonight and Christchurch tomorrow.
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