Turia calls on Sharples to step down
Fri, 21 Dec 2012 9:18a.m.
Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is being urged to step down at the next election by his fellow co-leader, Tariana Turia, who has already foreshadowed her retirement.
Mrs Turia says she wants to give the party plenty of time to consider a replacement for the co-leadership position she has held since 2004.
The party's third MP, Te Ururoa Flavell, is almost certain to succeed as co-leader.
However, he may not stand again at the next election if Dr Sharples doesn't give up the reins - and Dr Sharples says he wants to stay on in 2014.
Mrs Turia, who is now 68, told Waatea News she may hand over the co-leadership before the next election, and she wants Dr Sharples, who is 71, to also consider it.
"The leadership role is not about being a minister. Being the leader of a political movement is something quite different. There is absolutely nothing stopping Pita from continuing to be the minister," she said.
Dr Sharples told the New Zealand Herald all of the Maori Party's members have their own views on what future co-leadership arrangements should look like, but any decisions would be made by the party as a whole.
Mr Flavell - who is now aged 57 - said if Dr Sharples runs again, that would leave his own political future uncertain, as "that doesn't provide us with succession planning".
"I hadn't planned on making Parliament a career at all. So I'm just considering it."
Mr Flavell says he expects to decide what he will do by April, when the Maori Party's election candidate nominations are due.
All three of the Maori Party's MPs have been in parliament since 2005, after the party formed when Mrs Turia quit the Labour Party over the Foreshore and Seabed Act.
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22/12/2012 4:01:11 p.m.
Got the keep the gravy train a running no end in sight.
21/12/2012 12:55:33 p.m.
If Pita feels he can do the job, and wants to do it, he should stick around. The Maori Party if looses Pita runs the risk of becoming a Labour lackey again, as the Maori seats were always safe Labour seats they didn't need to campaign for.The Maori Party has shown great maturity, maturity coming mostly from Pita. The same maturity lacking from larger parties and achieved some in govt vs work in oppositon and achieve nothing.Labours idea is that if something good is forwarded by governemnt, they have to be against it as a matter of principle, and Helens quote on Maori and the Maori Party was 'Last Cab on the Rank'.I've not heard the Maori Party come forwad with crazy ideas like print money, or revenue=profit which would ruin our economy.I dont agree with seperate racist seats, but apart from that the Maori party has shown maturity to work with government for what they believe will help Maori. Will the changes brought by the Maori party actually do this? I doubt it, but they were prepared to stand up and be counted. The Maori Party is also more than just ask for more handouts, and if Maori are to benefit, they need to get off the handouts to stand on their own. Feed a man a fish, and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime. We need sustainable long term solutions not handouts. The Party took damage with Hone leaving, but it would have taken even more damage if they had done a Labour and did nothing.If ask Pita, he would probably agree that he couldn't have done as good job leading in the Maori Party in recent years, if he was 40 years younger. In his younger years he was less likely to work together with government, and less likely to get things done. Age can be a good thing in a party leader.
21/12/2012 11:15:36 a.m.
Merry Christmas Pita and have a lovey happy new year.
21/12/2012 11:10:29 a.m.
Peter should stay, he is the only reason I give the party my vote! He is a clever, cool operator who brings a dignified touch to the party instead of the "savage" stand over tatics that gets us no where! John Hadfield could learn from him.
21/12/2012 10:55:56 a.m.
Tariana, your time has come and gone. You are leaving so let others get on with it. Your Mr. Flavell sounds like a royal whinger . . . "If Mr. Sharples doesn't step down and I don't get my way, I'll hold my breath and turn blue and not run again." Yeah, right!! Mr. Sharples has proven himself a born leader and has the respect of both Maori and Pakeha. While Mr. Flavell's greatest admirer seems to be himself.
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