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Whaitiri to consider her future in 12 months

Minister Meka Whaitiri says she will confirm plans for her parliamentary career a year out from the next general election.

The Labour MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti and Customs Minister told The Gisborne Herald she was “staying true” to the commitment she made when first elected in 2013 — that she would serve a maximum of 10 years.

Ms Whaitiri confirmed that commitment when she was retained as her party's Ikaroa-Rawhiti candidate in February 2020 for the general election held later that year.

Ms Whaitiri was quoted in a recent Stuff story as saying she would not shy away from her 2013 pledge.

She would think about 2023 probably in a year's time.

The Herald sought clarifications from Ms Whaitiri because in the elation of a resounding Labour Party landslide on election night last year, she said the 10-year commitment had been naive.

“You can't do anything in Opposition,” she said that October night.

Her aim was to serve in government for 10 years.

But Ms Whaitiri also told The Herald this week that when confirmed as her party's candidate for the 2020 general election “the Ikaroa-Rawhiti nannies said I was to go when they said I was to go”.

Ms Whaitiri was elected as the Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP in by-election in 2013 after the death of former Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia.