Willie Jackson ‘disappointed’ no Māori in top 15 for Labour list

updated By Heta Gardiner

There are no Māori in the top 15 on Labour's list, and candidate Willie Jackson says it's something that needs to be addressed. But leader Andrew Little says they will win the Māori seats they currently hold, which will result in potentially the highest number of Māori MPs in the party's history.

Yesterday it was Willie Jackson's issues with his low list position that was the talking point. Today a wider look at the lack of Māori in prominent positions has come to the fore.

“I'm disappointed with that. That's something we need to take up as a party. I would be lying if I didn't say that. I believe Māori should be in the top 10 or 15,” says Jackson.

It's true that there are no Māori in the top 15 and only four Māori in the top 30. But Labour leader Andrew Little doesn't agree with that base assessment.

“We will have one of the biggest levels of Māori representations in the history of New Zealand Politics.”

He says that Māori will have a strong voice when those Māori seat MPs who took their names off the list are added to the Māori contingent.

“We've got a good solid team behind all of our Māori MP's in the Māori seats. We're gonna win those Māori seats and we're gonna get more Māori in as well.”

But there's a rainbow at the end of the clouds. Kiri Allen seemingly out of nowhere has climbed to number 20.

“I was really surprised! But I come from many years of advocacy for our whānau, for our people and for our hapū. From the grassroots to an international forum. So our people are always close to my heart,” says Allen.

Wellington Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle has been placed at number 33 with former broadcaster Tamaki Coffee at 34.