Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Cunliffe aiming for re-election

Former Labour leader says he’s content to be MP for New Lynn.
Former Labour Party leader David Cunliffe speaks to the media at his New Lynn Electoral office. Photo/ Jason Oxenham
Former Labour Party leader David Cunliffe speaks to the media at his New Lynn Electoral office. Photo/ Jason Oxenham

Labour MP David Cunliffe has had a bruising fall in politics but intends to run for Parliament again in 2017.

Since Labour's disastrous election result under Mr Cunliffe's leadership in 2014, he has lost the leadership and was demoted to the backbenches by leader Andrew Little in November, a clear hint he should reconsider his political future.

Yesterday, Mr Cunliffe said it was his intention to stand again despite the torrid 18 months he'd had. "That's the plan. I'm happy to be the MP for New Lynn and I've got work to do there."

He indicated he was hoping for redemption within caucus. "Politics is a rollercoaster. You know that and I've been around long enough to know that."

Soon after he resigned from the leadership after the 2014 election, Mr Cunliffe told the Herald he had not decided whether to stand again.

Mr Little had held out an olive branch of sorts, saying he would not rule out a move up the ranks for Mr Cunliffe. "When opportunities arise you see who's the best fit for the job and you never rule anything out in that regard."

He said he had not discussed the 2017 selections with Mr Cunliffe or any other MP. "So, good on him. He's got to make his decisions about what he does, it doesn't surprise me at all."

After visiting Ratana on Sunday, Labour MPs went to Martinborough for their annual caucus retreat - a two-day closed session at which Mr Little said they would set the priorities for the year ahead, which included the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Mr Little has voiced concern about provisions for foreign investors which would prevent Labour banning property sales to foreigners. He had also set out his expectations of caucus and himself.

- NZ Herald

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