Labour votes for gender quota system

  • Breaking
  • 03/11/2013

The Labour Party has voted to introduce a gender quota system to ensure half its MPs are women.

The new party rule means Labour's men may have to give up spots in parliament, earned on merit, to female MPs.

Labour's caucus is currently 42 percent female, but the quota means that number will have to rise to 45 percent by 2014, and 50 percent by 2017.

It means Labour's party list will be stacked if required, with women put ahead of men to meet the quota.

The party grassroots lost a battle to introduce a so-called "man-ban" on men in electorate seats earlier this year when former leader David Shearer had it struck out.

This time party president Moira Coatsworth won, with a man-ban in drag.

"Women have missed out. This is about getting women equality," she says.

David Cunliffe has a simple message for men worried they may miss out.

"Work hard, show your talent, and there's a pretty good chance you can get on the Labour list too," he says.

And Labour is now deeply suspicious of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, refusing to support the free trade deal until it gets more information.

"We're saying the Government, if they want to get this through, need to be a bit more open," says Labour's David Parker.

But National's Steven Joyce - today boarding a Japanese submarine - was quick to torpedo that.

"They've got a base, including the unions, that don't want to be involved in it," he says, "and frankly its taking New Zealand back to the 70s."

Meanwhile, a policy proposal to have a referendum on becoming a republic and ditching the Queen as our head of state will require further discussion.

And 3 News can reveal senior Labour members want to secure Maori Television broadcaster Julian Wilcox as its candidate in Auckland's Tamaki Makaurau seat.

Mr Wilcox did not return calls.

Labour's gender politics are a distraction from the kind of policies that should be appealing to those voters out there in the centre ground.

It's also a power play by the grass roots of the party, which is increasingly moving to the left.

3 News

source: newshub archive