Labour's ruling council has decided that former Cabinet minister John Tamihere can rejoin the party.

Mr Tamihere has indicated he wants to stand for Parliament again. However, the council had to first decide if it would accept his application to become a member.

Despite the RadioLive host upsetting some within the party with his forthright views in the past, it was considered unusual to turn down a membership application from a former MP.

The council was also due to consider a complaint from the New Lynn electorate committee about the treatment of its MP, David Cunliffe, who was demoted after he would not rule out challenging leader David Shearer under new leadership selection rules.


The electorate committee's complaint is about how other MPs treated Mr Cunliffe and about leaks to the media from the caucus meeting where he was demoted.

Yesterday, Mr Tamihere did not return calls from the Herald. But he may not have helped his cause by likening the process of joining the party to a gang initiation ceremony, after he was blocked from attending members-only parts of Labour's annual conference.

The council considered issues such as whether Mr Tamihere had brought the party into disrepute and whether he belonged to any other organisations whose practices or beliefs are contrary to those of Labour.