Women to the fore on Labour's 'talented' list

21:08, Jun 23 2014
Priyanca Radhakrishnan

Labour has stacked its plum list positions with women as it pushes for a quota of 45 per cent women after the next election.

While the top places have been reserved for sitting MPs, six of the first seven potential new faces are women.

However, Labour would need to win 30 per cent of the party vote to reach the 45 per cent quota and 34 per cent to bring in significant new blood.

In the latest Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos poll, Labour won just over 23 per cent of the vote, a level that could see up to six sitting MPs looking for new jobs after September 20.

There are 30 men and 34 women on the list and another 16 men and five women are standing only for electorates.

Women's Affairs policy analyst Priyanca Radhakrishnan, small business owner Rachel Jones, from Tauranga, and former TVNZ presenter Tamati Coffey are the top ranked non-MPs on Labour's list.


Five sitting MPs - Ruth Dyson, Kris Faafoi, Clare Curran, Trevor Mallard and Rino Tirikatene - have opted off the list, as has Stuart Nash in Napier and Adrian Rurawhe in Te Tai Hauauru.

Radhakrishnan is ranked 23, Jones 25 and Coffey, who is standing in Rotorua, 30.

Curran, the Dunedin South MP, was ranked 28 in 2011. She said she was focused on winning her seat and was 100 per cent committed to campaigning for the party vote.

Mallard, the Hutt South MP, said he made the decision to not go on the list before the moderating committee met "in order to give people like Kelvin [Davis] a chance to be higher".

"I've never ever taken an electorate for granted but I also really like being a constituency MP and only being a list one has no appeal at all."

Leader David Cunliffe and his deputy take out the top two slots, followed by Grant Robertson, Annette King, Jacinda Ardern and Nanaia Mahuta, who is the top-ranked Maori MP.

Maungakiekie candidate Carol Beaumont was the big loser, slipping from 22 to 26, and will be out of Parliament unless Labour gets its share of the vote up to 30 per cent.

Party president Moira Coatsworth said the party was looking at 20 per cent renewal. The list was "an outstanding group of talented New Zealanders".

Cunliffe said he was delighted at the "fantastic array of talented candidates".

Prime Minister John Key said National would not have a gender quota in its list selection. "We're going to try and attract the best-quality candidates . . . I hope there are good mixtures of men and women who chose to do that, just like there's a good mixture of ages and ethnicities," he said.

National would pick candidates on the basis of ability and what they brought to Parliament.

If the electorate system meant mainly white men became candidates, Key said the MMP system allowed for the list to be used "to make sure that balance is rectified"



At 30 per cent support, Labour would likely gain two new MPs: Priyanca Radhakrishnan and Rachel Jones.

At 30 per cent the only sitting MP to miss out would be Carol Beaumont.

But at the 23 per cent Labour got in the latest Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos poll, up to six sitting MPs could be out of a job.

The most vulnerable are Raymond Huo, Kelvin Davis, Moana Mackey and Maryan Street, although Sue Moroney and Andrew Little would also be under threat.


David Clark rises from 49 in 2011 to 26 this year

Iain Lees-Galloway, from 37 to 24

Louisa Wall, not placed in 2011 is ranked 12

Chris Hipkins rises from 30 to 9

Megan Woods rises from 47 to 20


Carol Beaumont down from 22 in 2011 to 27

Maryan Street down from seven to 15

Phil Goff, leader and No 1 in 2011, is at 16