Flavell elected co-leader

Stuff reports:

has been elected co-leader of the , replacing long time leader Pita Sharples.

No-one voted against Flavell in a vote at the Maori Party’s annual conference in Whakatane today.

An MP for Waiariki since 2005, Flavell was the only person nominiated in the vote, which took place at the annual conference in Whakatane today.

An emotional Flavell fought back tears as he thanked about 300 party members for electing him.

“I want you to know that i am up for this…I will give it my all.”

Flavell had been engaged in a long running powers struggle with Sharples, who announced earlier this month that he would stand down as party co-leader at this weekend’s conference.

Naida Glavish has also been elected president of the party, replacing Pem Bird, who announced recently that he would not stand for re-election.

An advisor to the Auckland and Waitemata district health boards and the New Zealand Police, she is a former commissioner of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. She is chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua.

Glavish earned fame as the “kia ora lady” when in 1984 working as a phone operator at New Zealand Post she was demoted for answering the phone with the now widely used phrase. After controvercy she was returned to the role and allowed to continue to answer the phone with kia ora.

Congrats to Flavell and Glavish. Now the leadership issue has been settled, they have a foundation they can build on. Their party vote support remains at three times the level of Mana. I don’t think there is any prospect they won’t be back in after the next election. The question is how many seats will they have. They could even gain a list seat if they lose an electorate seat.

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