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Jackson fails in bid for higher list slot

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/05/2017

Labour has released its candidate list for the general election with Willie Jackson named at 21 - the Maori broadcaster failed to persuade the party to give him a higher slot.

The 74-strong list was made public on Tuesday morning after it was put off for a day because of Mr Jackson's complaints about the way he had been treated.

Mr Jackson was shoulder-tapped by party leader Andrew Little to stand for Labour and promised a winnable slot on the list, so he changed his mind about possibly standing for the Maori Party.

But when the list was given to candidates at the weekend he discovered he was at 21 and behind two other Maori candidates, Willow-Jean Prime and Kiri Allan.

Mr Little has confirmed the list was delayed because Mr Jackson "and a few others" were unhappy about their slots.

"Willie was disappointed, I talked to him about it and it's a winnable place," he told RNZ.

"The list isn't about just one person and now everybody has accepted their positions."

Prime Minister Bill English says the process has been chaotic.

"Clearly, undertakings were made to Willie Jackson that weren't kept," he told reporters.

"That's going to create ongoing trouble for them... if you can't competently run your own party it's pretty hard to show you can run the country."

For Mr Jackson to get into parliament at 21, Labour will have to win around 27 per cent of the party vote in the September election.

In 2014 it won 25 per cent, and is currently polling around 30 per cent.

The highest-placed new candidate is policy adviser Priyanca Radhakrishnan.

Veteran MP Trevor Mallard, who gave up his electorate seat to go on the list, is in the danger zone at 32 while Greg O'Connor, the former Police Association president, is well down at 40.

The number of list MPs a party gets depends on its share of the vote on election night, and the number of electorate seats it wins.

In 2014 Labour won 25 per cent of the vote and got 32 MPs - 27 electorate and five list.

The list already has one casualty - Sue Moroney quit on Sunday because she'd been given an unelectable place on it.


1 Andrew Little

2 Jacinda Ardern

3 Grant Robertson

4 Phil Twyford

5 Megan Woods

6 Chris Hipkins

7 Carmel Sepuloni

8 David Clark

9 David Parker

10 Stuart Nash

11 Priyanca Radhakrishnan

12 Raymond Huo

13 Iain Lees-Galloway

14 Jan Tinetti

15 Aupito William Sio

16 Willow-Jean Prime

17 Damien O'Connor

18 Jenny Salesa

19 Kris Faafoi

20 Kiri Allan

21 Willie Jackson

22 Clare Curran

23 Ruth Dyson

24 Poto Williams

25 Louisa Wall

26 Michael Wood

27 Ginny Andersen

28 Jo Luxton

29 Deborah Russell

30 Liz Craig

* 32 Trevor Mallard

* 34 Tamati Coffey

* 40 Greg O'Connor

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