This is a very significant story. Claire Trevett reports:
And Mr Flavell is considering not standing again in 2014 if Dr Sharples does not give up the leadership, saying he is not sure whether he wants to wait around until 2017.
I think the writing is on the wall. Of course Sharples will be 73 at the next election.
Mrs Turia will stay on as a minister but is open to handing over the co-leadership earlier. This week she told Waatea News Dr Sharples should follow suit to make way for Mr Flavell – the natural successor for the leadership, who had been expected to take over by 2014 until Dr Sharples decided to stay on.
“The leadership role is not about being a minister,” Mrs Turia said. “Being the leader of a political movement is something quite different. There is absolutely nothing stopping Pita from continuing to be the minister.”
Here’s what I would do if I was the Maori Party.
- Have Flavell take over as co-leader from Sharples at some stage before the election
- Have Sharples continue as a Minister
- Line up the desired new co-leader to replace Turia to stand in Te Tai Hauauru.
- After the 2014 election, if Maori Party in position to be Ministers have Sharples and Flavell as Ministers.
- Have new female co-leader focus on party leadership, rather than being a Minister
- Line someone up to succeed Sharples in Tamaki Makauru in 2017.
- Have Sharples stand down as a Minister in 2016, allowing female co-leader to step up as a Minister
I regard Flavell as a smart parliamentary operator, and think he would be a very competent Minister.