Labour Māori Council defends Shane Jones

By Ripeka Timutimu

The Labour Maori Council has defended Shane Jones as the Greens label him sexist and old-fashioned. Last night, Jones told TV3 that he would never hold hands with the Greens, and today, Metiria Turei bit back.

Daniel Phillips has been at Shanes Jones’ side since his first day in Parliament, but now he walks on alone.

“There’s not a lot of Shane Jones’ running around to fill the void now that Shane has left” says Daniel Phillips.

But with the departure of Shane Jones, the Labour Maori caucus could once again be reunited. Last years’ leadership race split the group with some supporting Team Cunliffe and others Team Jones.

Metiria Turei says, “His difficulty handling women with authority is a real problem. It’s not the 21st century way for New Zealand, or for Māori for that matter”

Last night, Jones told TV3 that he's never supported Labour holding hands with the Greens, and it was partly why he left.

But the chairman of the Labour Māori Council, Daniel Phillips, says it is up to those remaining to carry on their political agenda now.

The Labour Māori council and Māori MP's will meet this Saturday in Napier.