Labour list MP Willie Jackson says there is no love lost with his whanaunga John Tamihere after his recent attacks on the Labour Māori Caucus.
In response to the accusation that the Labour Māori Caucus is sidelined, Jackson says, “Māori MPs have every opportunity to talk, and you know, John actually doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about!”
The Labour MP emphatically denied any notion that his caucus was not doing their part to help Māoridom.
Jackson made sure to mention that he had facilitated a meeting between Tamihere, Tracey Martin and the Oranga Tamariki CEO.
“The Māori MPs are working very strongly and very closely at the coalface,” Jackson says.
He also mentioned the efforts of Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare, as proof of his colleagues’ results.
Jackson stated that JT's motivation is because of the change in circumstances and funding for Whānau Ora providers like the one that Tamihere operates.
“Obviously John’s not getting what he wants in the Whānau Ora area.
“So the strategy is, well, just defame all the Māori MPs.”
But there is no love lost between Jackson and his controversial comrade-in-arms, with Jackson declaring, “We’ll always be friends, always be my whanau, or whanaunga, but we’re just gonna have to go to battle.”