9 Oct 2014

Labour MP asked to set up new party

11:04 am on 9 October 2014

Labour Party MP Stuart Nash has said he was approached after the 2011 election to lead a new political party that would have been in direct competition with Labour.

Labour Party candidate Stuart Nash.

Labour Party MP Stuart Nash. Photo: SUPPLIED

Mr Nash missed out on getting back into Parliament in 2011 but won the Napier seat at this year's election.

He said two businessmen from Hawke's Bay approached him after the 2011 election and asked him to lead a new centre-left party.

"They thought the Labour Party was in a mess and I obviously hadn't been returned on the list and I didn't win Napier and they backed some of Labour's policies and they thought it was time for a fresh new centrist party."

However Mr Nash said he told them he disagreed and told them that third parties cannot get meaningful change in New Zealand.

He said he also told them that he was Labour to the core and would only go back into politics with the Labour Party.

Mr Nash said the men got political strategist Simon Lusk to write a report about the concept of the party and that backed up his own thoughts that a new party would not work.

Mr Nash doesn't think his chances of ever becoming Party leader have been damaged by the revelations.

He is not running for party leader this time but he doesn't believe the issue will harm any future potential bid for the party leadership.

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