New Zealander of the Year Dr Lance O’Sullivan has said he would only take a leadership role with the Māori Party if it is a sole leadership role.
His statement comes after the resignation of party president Tukoroirangi Morgan, who has also called for co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox to resign to allow fresh talent to step up.
O’Sullivan is the front runner to become the Maori Party’s next male leader, but has said co-leadership is not the way to go.
“If I had an opportunity to have a leadership role, it would need to be in that sole leadership role,” he told Te Kāea.
“I’m not a fan of co-leadership. I think you need a single leader and a single message coming through that’s strong and inspiring.”
Dame Tariana Turia, the party founder and its first female co-leader, does not agree with O’Sullivan.
“In the end I hope we maintain the kaupapa of two co-leaders. I think it’s very helpful to have male and female working constructively with each other,” she said.
I agree with O’Sullivan that I think a sole leadership role works better for a party. But it is quite unusual to have a contender for leader say that he is only interested if the party does away with the co-leadership model they have traditionally had.