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Shearer welcomes Tamihere's return

Monday 3 Dec 2012 5:48 a.m.

John Tamihere

John Tamihere

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Labour leader David Shearer is maintaining a dignified silence on the return of former Cabinet minister John Tamihere to the party.

After Mr Tamihere's application to rejoin the party was accepted at the weekend, Mr Shearer would only say he welcomes any new Labour party members.

But former party president Mike Williams says Labour's made a good decision.

"John Tamihere is incredibly talented, and I also have been talking to him a bit recently and he has matured a lot.

"I think he will be an asset."

Mr Tamihere has previously indicated he'd like to run in Waitakere against incumbent National MP Paula Bennett.

There was good news for Labour on the weekend, as two major political polls show big jumps both for the party and its leader David Shearer.

A 3 News Reid-Research poll has Mr Shearer up 4 percent as preferred Prime Minister, although he's still sitting at around 13 percent, compared to John Key's 37 percent.
That was echoed in a One News Colmar Brunton poll.

Both polls also showed gains of about 3 percent for Labour's party vote, putting a centre-left coalition of Labour, the Greens and Mana close to being able to form a government.

Prime Minister John Key says Labour's recovery is "natural" after a disaster of an election in 2011.

Labour voters knew their team wasn't going to win so they switched to NZ First and other parties, but Labour was now taking back that support, Mr Key said.

He admits the 2014 election will be a tight race but he is confident of National's chances.

"In the end, I think they will go and ... say 'do we want National and whoever else, or do we want Labour, the Greens and NZ First', and I think they will look at us."

3 News / RadioLIVE / NZN

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