David Shearer speaks to media at today's caucus meeting in
Henderson. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Labour's MPs have endorsed the leadership of David
Shearer in a confidence vote today but will not release the
results of the vote.
Under new party rules, the leader must get at least 60 per
cent of support from caucus or it triggers a contest on which
the party's membership and affiliates can vote.
The vote, held at a meeting in Auckland this morning, took
about half an hour and Mr Shearer was applauded before
emerging to announce the results - saying he was safe until
the election in 2014.
He said he did not know the exact result because it was a
secret ballot - but he had achieved the 60 per cent threshold
required - at least 22 of the MPs.
Mr Shearer will travel to Waitangi tomorrow before turning
his attention back to his reshuffle, planned for early this
That has been on hold partly while Mr Shearer waits for an
Auditor-General's report into Shane Jones' decision when he
was a government minister to grant citizenship to Bill Liu.
The confidence vote was part of a full-day caucus meeting at
an old church at Corbans Estate in Henderson.
On his way into the caucus, David Cunliffe said it was a
secret ballot so he would not discuss how he would vote. Last
month he said he would endorse Mr Shearer.
Mr Shearer outflanked Mr Cunliffe in an effective challenge
at the party conference last year.
Many other MPs going in also refused to say how they would
vote, saying it was a secret ballot.
They included Cunliffe allies Nanaia Mahuta, Louisa Wall, and
However, Moana Mackey, regarded as a supporter of Mr
Cunliffe, said she will endorse Mr Shearer.
Other MPs also openly said they would vote for Mr Shearer
including Phil Goff, Chris Hipkins and David Clark as well as
Mr Jones, who said he hoped the venue of an old church would
provide some "divine inspiration."
After this year, the new rules will require the confidence
vote to be held soon after each election, rather than in the
year preceding an election.