3 Jul 2013

Maori Party to consider who'll take over as president

10:04 pm on 3 July 2013

The Maori Party has a list of people's names it will consider to take over Pem Bird's role as party president.

Mr Bird will stand down at the party's Annual General Meeting, at the end of next week, alongside Pita Sharples, who'll resign as co-leader.

Mr Bird was elected in 2010, when he took over from the founding president - Whatarangi Winiata.

In Parliament, Dr Sharples told reporters that the party would sort through the list of candidates at the weekend.

Dr Sharples said he couldn't disclose the names of candidates, but he said they are of high standing. He told reporters the party knew a couple of months ago that Pem Bird would step down.

Maori community leaders praise Sharples

Some community leaders continue to praise Pita Sharples' record as Maori Party co-leader.

Dame June Mariu, who has worked alongside Dr Sharples, says he's achieved a lot, both before and during politics - and he will always be a leader.

She says he can work well with people and is a good negotiator.

Dame June says she worked with Dr Sharples when he helped set up New Zealand's first urban marae, Hoani Waititi in West Auckland, in the 1970s.