Louisa Wall quits Manurewa electorate battle, will only stand on Labour list

Louisa Wall.
Louisa Wall. Photo credit: Newshub.

Labour Party MP Louisa Wall has given up trying to defend her Manurewa electorate seat, after a legal battle over who was allowed to stand for the party's nomination. 

She's held the seat since 2011, but will only be on the party list at the upcoming election. Her withdrawal comes after threatening legal action against her party after allowing a late nomination to contest the seat - Waitematā District Health Board board member Arena Williams - whose application came in after the normal deadline.

"I have been truly humbled by the loyalty and passion of the people in Manurewa and I'm sorry I won't be continuing to represent you as the proud member of Manurewa," Wall said late on Friday.

"I don't want the selection process matters to become an unwelcome distraction for the party and the Government when all of our efforts need to be on rebuilding our country and the economy."

Instead she'll campaign for Labour in the Maori electorates and try to get into Parliament on the party list, and spend more time on issues "close to her heart, including campaigning for equity in women's sport, women and girls' issues generally and indigenous and LGBTIQ+ rights".

Wall was the MP behind the 2013 legislation which legalised gay marriage in New Zealand, and previously was a member of the Black Ferns and Silver Ferns.  

"I have just heard that Louisa Wall MP for Manurewa has pulled out of selection," National MP Judith Collins tweeted. "A strong Woman/Māori/Gay woman done it by her own side. Very sorry for Louisa."

Collins voted for legalising gay marriage.

"Louisa is indeed a strong, forthright woman, and an independent thinker," added National's Anne Tolley. "I've worked with her on a number of projects and respect her immensely."

Tolley voted against it.