Maori Party c0-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples are numbers seven and eight on their party’s list.
That is a deliberate move in preparation for their retirements.
Number one is Waihoroi Shortland who is standing in Te Tai Tokerau and his place indicates that he is the likely successor to the co-leaders.
Giving an indication of future plans is sensible. Sharples says he will stay on until the 2014 election but Turia has indicated she probably won’t complete the term:
Tariana Turia says she will step down sometime during the next term of government, while Pita Sharples says he will see out the term but will not stand in 2014.
She was going to stand down before this term and given her age and family commitments that would have been understandable.
She is clear this will be her last election and she might be meaning to retire close enough to the next election to not trigger a by-election.
If however, she intends to retire earlier she will be putting the taxpayers to the unnecessary expense of a by-election.
Retiring early because of something unforeseen is understandable. Standing when you don’t intend to complete the term is not so much of a problem with a list MP because the next person on the list succeeds them without having to go back to voters.
But standing in a seat when you have no intention of completing the three year commitment you ought to be giving voters is a mistake, and given the cost of a by-election, an expensive one.
Party President Pem Bird’s announcement of the list is here.