Labour’s Peeni Henare is not keeping his interest in being the next health minister a secret.
It’s a bold departure from the usual ‘wait and see’ approach adopted from other MPs lined up for the new Government.
Sharing a photo of himself at the gym on Instagram this week, Henare wrote: “I have been asked by plenty of the new MPs for advice about working in Parliament and the advice to all of them is the same. Look after your well-being! For me, I like to go to the gym. It allows me to clear my head while also the added benefits of exercise.”
During his 15 months as an associate health minister, he “truly appreciated the challenge for our whānau and also the opportunities to fix them”, he said.
“That is why I put my hand up for the top job. We can turn many statistics around with positive change, system reform and investment.
This is an excellent idea. Labour should absolutely replace Chris Hipkins with Peeni Henare as Health Minister.
In the lead up to the election, he told media he’d like to be health minister, and reform the system to better suit Māori.
In a post-election interview with Māori Television, Labour Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta said she backed Henare for the ministerial position. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern needed to be bold and appoint a Māori MP to be health minister, she said.
So if Ardern says no to Henare she will be stamping on the mana of the Maori caucus.