By 3 News online staff
Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has dismissed rumours he will stand down as Maori Party co-leader, telling Te Karere he intends to lead the party into the next election.
It was widely speculated Dr Sharples would follow Tariana Turia's lead, who had said they should both stand aside in 2014 to make way for a fresh leadership duo to take the party into the future.
Dr Sharples has this afternoon quashed those rumours, saying he wouldn’t pass on the role of co-leader to Te Ururoa Flavell.
The move has been labelled a “missed opportunity for generational change” by political commentator and blogger Morgan Godfery.
“What they need to do is move with the electorate - and the electorate is becoming increasingly young,” he told RadioLIVE.
He says Maori Party MPs will come under increasing pressure in their electorate seats, especially Dr Sharples who has a slim majority of just 750 in Tamaki Makaurau.
“What Dr Sharples is doing is really solidifying the idea that the Maori Party is the kaumatua Party."