March 09, 2020
High profile contest good for Labour
Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis says having John Tamihere standing in Tamaki Makaurau for the Maori Party could boost Labour’s overall position.
Mr Tamihere, a former Labour cabinet minister, announced his party switch overnight, saying all 13 of Labour’s Māori MPs have been silenced and they are allowing the whanau ora policy programme to be destroyed by stealth.
Mr Davis put that down to political rhetoric.
He says having a high profile candidate sparks interest in the contest.
"If we don’t have people to stand against us, no one will get out and vote. What's really important is the party vote. If there is no one standing, they're going to go 'oh well, Peeni's got it in the bag, what's the point going out and voting,' but we really need to get people out there and we really need the party vote," Mr Davis says.
Kelvin Davis predicts whatever is said in the heat of the campaign, the day after the election Mr Tamihere would be having a beer and a laugh with his Labour Party mates.
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