Willie Jackson confirms return to politics - but who for?
Willie Jackson has confirmed on air that he is leaving RadioLIVE for a second tilt at politics.
Jackson had been tipped to stand for the Māori Party in the Tāmaki Makaurau electorate.
But live on air on Thursday he said it is "bit of a surprise" where he is going, perhaps suggesting he has been courted to stand for Labour instead.
"I didn't know if I was gonna go down that track, but all will be revealed on Sunday," he said in the interview.
It looks like Jackson would be welcomed by the Labour Party, should he decide to stand.
"I think Willie Jackson would have plenty to offer Labour if he were keen to be a candidate for Labour," Labour Party leader Andrew Little said in a press conference this afternoon.
Mr Little said it's his job to be on the look out for new talent.
But as far as Mr Little is aware, Jackson isn't a Labour Party member.
It comes as Māori Party President all but confirms Jackson's move away from the Māori Party.
Jackson "certainly looks like he's made up his mind", Tuku Morgan told Stuff.
As well as hosting a day-time show on RadioLIVE, Jackson is active in the Māori broadcasting community, chairing dozens of iwi radio stations, hosting at Radio Waatea, and presenting on TV show Marae. It was on Marae in December that he let viewers know he was returning to politics.
Jackson joined the Mana Motuhake Party in 1995, which became part of the Alliance. He stood unsuccessfully in 1996, and was successfully elected in 1999.
He says he was always going to return to politics, and the timing is right.
"For me, it's come to that stage in my life - getting on - where I might not have that many opportunities in life to have bit of a shot at politics, so it's come around," he said on RadioLIVE.
With the announcement out in the open, Jackson confirmed he will be leaving his broadcasting role.
"For obvious reasons, if you go into politics, people feel you're conflicted on air.
"It might be different if it was not election year. I probably wouldn't be able to control myself in terms of supporting the party whom I'm going with on the air."
Jackson's political move will be announced on Sunday at Waitangi.