Goff, King to resign in fortnight

Last updated 16:17 29/11/2011
Marcus Wild

Phil Goff announces he is resigning as leader of the Labour Party.

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ANDREW GORRIE/Dominion Post Zoom
Phil Goff leaves the meeting.
Goff through the years
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A file photo of Phil Goff checking in on a school.
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Labour leader Phil Goff says he will resign but plans to remain on the party's backbenches.

He and deputy leader Annette King announced today that they would stand down from their roles, effective December 13.

David Cunliffe, David Parker, David Shearer, Nanaia Mahuta and Grant Robertson all signalled that they would seek the leadership, or deputy leadership.

"I want to pledge whoever might be leader or deputy leader of the Labour Party that they will have my full support and active support.

"If there's a two way fight for leader fine. If there's a three way fight equally fine," Goff said.

Goff and King will remain  in Parliament as electorate MPs but said they were happy to remain on the backbenches.

Both indicated they would see out the three-year term.

They refused to say which possible leadership candidate they would support.

"I've been a member of the Labour Party for 40 years. I'm committed to fulfilling the objectives of the Labour Party," Goff said.

"I'm very relaxed about the prospect; I'm going from an 80-100 hour week probably down to a 60 hour week, that should be quite refreshing."

Caucus met for five hours today during that time they farewelled departing MPs, welcomed new ones, and analysed the election campaign.

They did not discuss individual policies or whether they would be retained by the party.

After the meeting Goff addressed waiting media.

"You'll notice that I'm looking relaxed," he joked.

Goff said he considered staying on after the election loss for "about two seconds" and blame for the loss lay squarely with him.

"We discussed all of the factors that may have contributed to that. Not withstanding the loss that Labour suffered, it was a very positive and forward-looking caucus."

Labour had a good, energetic campaign but it was not the party's time, Goff said.

No one had suggested the campaign, or his performance was deficient, he said.

Goff thanked King for her support and friendship over the years.

She said she had not considered staying on.

"I have been honoured to serve with Phil, we are old mates. But we also worked incredibly well together and the time was right for me to go as well."

- Fairfax NZ

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