Labour MP Poto Williams has said she is sorry for the way she went about criticising Willie Jackson and accepted his apology for Roastbusters is sincere but has stopped short of endorsing him as as a Labour candidate.

Williams told One News that in hindsight raising her concerns about Jackson in a public statement had caused distress to her party and colleagues and for that she was sorry.

"I do regret that, but I am extremely passionate about family violence. It is a personal issue for me and sometimes when you are really passionate about these things, your judgement is a little off."

Williams said in a statement she had met with Jackson on Wednesday night to discuss the concerns she had raised about Jackson's interview with 'Amy' over the Roastbusters case three years ago.


Williams, Labour's sexual and domestic violence spokesperson, said she could not support him unless he apologised.

She did not go so far as to endorse or support Jackson as a Labour candidate, but had asked to meet with Jackson and they had a "robust and honest conversation."

"Having spoken with Willie, I believe his apology is genuine.

He realises he still has more to learn about the issues of sexual violence.

In that regard I hope to help him increase his understanding and our conversations will continue.

I welcome that opportunity and Willie is keen for that to occur.

We are committed to working together on this."

She said she acknowledged the work on domestic violence by the Manukau Urban Maori Authority which Jackson led.

Jackson said it had been a good meeting and he expected to show her the work that MUMA did on domestic violence soon.


"Having met Poto, I think she's a really good woman and I can see that she really feels this particular issue.

Obviously it could have happened a bit better - I would have met with her any time."

He said he dealt with issue of domestic violence every day and would continue to do so.

​Labour leader Andrew Little still backs Jackson but has been trying to dampen down the backlash against Jackson within Labour since he announced he had asked Jackson to join Labour.

Some members and MPs are frustrated that Little's promise of a high list spot for Jackson goes against the drive to get more women into Parliament for Labour.

Little has warned his caucus not to air their concerns publicly, saying Williams had raised the issue with him but he was surprised she also did so publicly - something he said was against caucus rules.