Kate Chapman at Stuff reports:
Labour MP Mita Ririnui has announced he will stand down at the end of the year.
He was an associate minister in Helen Clark’s government and former MP for Waiariki. Ririnui was born and raised in Tauranga and said his next role would be leading Bay of Plenty iwi through the Treaty settlement process.
No major surprises with the retirement. He was unlikely to feature in a future Labour Government.
What is interesting is that Labour may have relatively few Maori MPs after the next election, unless they do some recruitment into high list placings. It is rumoured that Horomia may retire also, and Mahuta is staying on but concentrating mainly on family for the next few years.
On top of Mahuta, you’ve got Shane Jones, Kelvin Davis and Moana Mackey. Only four Maori MPs would be historically quite low for Labour. Labour may give high list rankings to some of their Maori seat candidates – but then of course that may help the Maori Party keep those seats.