Poto Williams hired PR firm for Willie Jackson ploy

Labour's Poto Williams hired a private public relations firm to craft her statement on Willie Jackson joining the party.

Christchurch-based Inform PR sent out a statement from Ms Williams condemning her leader Andrew Little's decision to welcome Mr Jackson into the Labour fold.

As the party’s family and sexual violence spokesperson, Ms Williams said in the statement that she was "concerned" about Mr Jackson joining the party due to his comments during the Roast Busters scandal.

"I do not believe that his attitude towards victims of sexual abuse match what I expect of a member of the Labour Party. Especially a member of our caucus," the statement read.

"As someone who speaks for the victims of family and sexual violence, and as a survivor of such abuse, I cannot in good conscience support him as my colleague."

When Newshub asked why she needed to hire a private firm, Ms Williams didn't want to answer.

"I don't have any more to say on the Willie Jackson stuff," she said.

She also didn't answer when Newshub asked why she didn’t just use the Labour communications team.

She walked away when asked if she'd been reprimanded for the public revolt against her leader's decision.

The statement was first sent out to select media via Inform PR then later posted to her Facebook page.

Inform PR's Cameron Taylor was unable to confirm when he was asked to step in - saying all questions should be directed at Ms Williams.  

"I can't talk about it," he said. "I can't say anything about it, you'd need to ask her office about that."

The company's website implies that they charge between $70 - $100 an hour.

Inform PR boasts testimonials from companies such as Heatpumps Now, Pure Elegance Wedding Films and Hair Therapy Wigs.