Jenna Lynch Analysis: Meka Whaitiri's move looks like a self-interested publicity stunt

ANALYSIS: There's less than six months until the election and Labour can't be happy about the Meka Whaitiri ordeal.

No way, no how.

The Prime Minister has every right to be furious. A (now-former) minister is refusing to take his calls before launching a missile his way and defecting to another party. That's utterly unforgivable. But it sounds like he's shrugging it off. 

Whaitiri says she can now be unapologetically Māori but hasn't outlined any policy position she didn't agree with Labour taking. 

In the absence of that, this looks like a self-interested publicity stunt going behind her party's back.

This is the party that put her in Parliament in a safe seat for 10 years. This is the party that gave her a path back from being sacked as a minister.

Despite that, Labour is not looking to pick a fight with her.

They've made the right call not kicking her out and risking a potentially expensive embarrassing by-election.

But as one Labour insider rightly put it to me, any day they are not talking about bread and butter between now and October 14 is a bad day. 

Jenna Lynch is Newshub's Political Editor.