Labour backers able to vote for party leader
Wed, 11 Jul 2012 11:42a.m.
Labour supporters will get a say in choosing the party's future candidates and leaders, following rule changes approved by Labour MPs.
Currently, only the party's MPs get to vote for the leader.
Following a two-day caucus retreat, Labour leader David Shearer said the MPs were committed to giving grassroots members a voice in deciding who heads the party, Fairfax reports.
MPs were likely to retain 40 to 50 percent of the leadership votes, while about 40 percent would go to members, with the remaining votes given to affiliates, including unions and the party's Maori, youth and rainbow arms, and registered supporters who are not members.
The party's list selection process is also set to change, with a smaller group to have the final say.
Currently, a large group makes a decision based on rankings from the party's regions.
The list selection changes were sparked by Labour's West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor's outburst that the list is decided by "a gaggle of gays and self-serving unionists", before last year's election.
Mr O'Connor, who refused to stand on the party list last year, later apologised for the comments.
The party's ruling council will consider the draft rule changes this weekend. NZN
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