Willie Jackson resignations premature - Ella Henry

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

A political commentator is commending Willie Jackson for stepping down from several high-profile roles ahead of the required period.  Ella Henry believes that under the 1993 electoral act, the Labour Party candidate hopeful is within his right to continue in some of those positions. 

Henry thinks Jackson's final sign off from his talkback shows at Radio Live and Radio Waatea this week is premature.

"Good on him for being up front from the beginning but we're seven months out from an election and he's giving up his paid work," she said.

According to the State Services Commission election guidelines, candidates who are employees of government departments are required to take leave approximately four weeks before election day.

"I can't see anywhere in the legislation like the electoral act of 1993 that requires him to do for some of those entities that he works with because they're not state servant entities."

Jackson announced that he will be stepping down from Te Mātāwai, but will retain his community roles.  He will remain as chair of NUMA.  He is also the chair of the Nātional Māori Radio Network and the Māori Television Electoral College.

"If I were him I would hold onto those jobs as long as I am required by law to because that gives him a public forum," said Henry.

Political commentator Scott Campbell said, "When it comes to the Maori people it's about who is the person, who is the personality as opposed to really about what is the policy."

Te Kāea asked Mr Jackson if he intends to step down from his remaining positions a month before the election day, but he's yet to confirm.