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John Tamihere slams Labour, mulls political comeback

Published: 4:25PM Sunday October 07, 2012 Source: ONE News

Former Cabinet Minister John Tamihere has criticised Labour, saying the party has failed to fire back at recent National Party slip-ups.

Tamihere told TV ONE's Q+A programme he was looking at making a return to Parliament in the next election after losing his Labour seat in 2005, but said the liberal party needed to come through its "rebuild" mode.

He said Labour had not hit back at recent events where the National Party had come into the firing line, such as the GCSB spying saga and back-tracking on a decision to grant Mike Tyson a New Zealand visa.

"The Labour Party front bench has not fired as well as it could. Across the whole line, whether it's health, welfare or education, and those are the biggies."

However, Tamihere said there was a "new energy" being put into the party.

"It's in a major constitutional review and it's in a major review of its whole processes."

The former politician said factional fighting could be good for Labour in the long run "because out of those trials and tribulations comes a strengthened group.

"After 19 years of Clark, power actually starts to implode towards the centre. So the party's had to go out and regrow activism."

If he was to return, Tamihere would target the Waitakere electorate seat which he said Labour should never have lost in 2008.

"The Waitakere seat is not a marginal seat. It's a safe seat for Labour. It should have never been lost in 2008 and should have been won back in 2011."

Tamihere was criticised during his time in Parliament after a journalist recorded him being rude about then Prime Minister Helen Clark and other Labour party members, but insisted a return would be different because he was "a lot wiser" now.

Labour leader David Shearer said Tamihere was "very capable" in Parliament.

"It's not up to me whether he comes onto the Labour party ticket, it's up to the selection process we have."

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