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Labour delays release of party list

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/05/2017

Labour has delayed the release of its party list for the September election amid reports that some candidates are unhappy about the positions they've been given.

The list was to have been released on Monday but a spokesman has told NZ Newswire it's been delayed until Tuesday.

The only reason the spokesman would give was that "discussions are continuing".

Among those understood to be dissatisfied with their list place is high profile Maori broadcaster Willie Jackson.

Mr Jackson was shoulder-tapped by party leader Andrew Little and promised a winnable seat as a list MP, but he's believed to be in the danger zone while two other Maori list candidates, Willow-Jean Prime and Kiri Allan, are ahead of him.

And Newshub reports there could be a problem with veteran MP Trevor Mallard who has been placed low on the list and could struggle to get back.

There's already been one casualty - Sue Moroney has quit because she wasn't given a winnable spot.

The number of seats a party gets depends on its share of the party vote, and the number of list seats depends on how many electorate MPs win their seats.

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

The list has been made easier this time because Labour's six Maori electorate MPs decided not take the safety net of the list - their fates depend on retaining their seats.

But if they hold their seats, prospective list candidates don't benefit from that.

Labour is also having to meet its commitment to have half its caucus made up of women, which is one of the reasons Mr Jackson could have been pushed down it.

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