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Jackson hints at Labour run

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/02/2017 Karen Sweeney

Willie Jackson. © Michael Bradley/Getty Images Willie Jackson. Former MP and broadcaster Willie Jackson has all but confirmed an attempt to return to Parliament as a Labour candidate in the September election.

Mr Jackson spoke to media at Waitangi on Saturday morning revealing he had resigned from a number of positions incompatible with another run at politics.

"It's a hard road back to parliament," he told reporters of his plans while remaining coy about the details.

Mr Jackson wouldn't confirm his candidacy as a Labour MP, saying he would make an official announcement on Sunday.

He has previously been in parliament, joining in 1999 as an Alliance Party member.

He was also leader of Mana Motuhake from 2001 until 2004.

Labour leader Andrew Little confirmed on Thursday he had been in discussions with Mr Jackson.

He believes it's a challenge for any Maori grouping in a mainstream party to have an independent voice but says it's been done before.

"It all imploded (with Mana Motuhake) but I think it worked well for a number of years and I think it's worked well in Labour too when they've had strong Maori MPs in there," he said.

"I think it can happen and I hope it can happen but of course it's very, very tough."

Mr Jackson was reportedly considering standing for the Maori Party before choosing Labour but has rejected claims he's a waka jumper as - and said he had not been a member of a political party since Mana Motuhake.

With Mr Jackson seeking to return to parliament, as well as rumours Shane Jones and Hone Harawera will also run in September, he says it's not a bad thing to have old MPs return.

He said the infatuation and obsession with young people had to end.

"You've got to get this nonsense out that only young people can advocate. You need a good mix and a good balance," he said.

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