Kelvin Davis says he won't seek Deputy Prime Minister role

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

Kelvin Davis will not be Deputy Prime Minister, he revealed today.

"I have made the decision not to seek the role as Deputy Prime Minister, but I will look to remain as deputy leader of the Labour Party," he said.  

"The Prime Minister has said from the outset, it is my decision and my decision alone.

"I came into politics for two reasons: One, to represent Te Tai Tokerau, and two, to make a difference for Māori. And that’s what I’ve been doing and what I’ll continue to do.

"We do have a very big caucus… and it will take a lot of management about the needs of our back bench. I’m happy to play that role and allow whoever is Deputy Prime Minister and of course the Prime Minister to fulfill their duties.

"I see myself as supporting the wider caucus."

Jacinda Ardern said Davis contacted her "before the election and made it clear to me the role of Deputy Prime Minister was not one he wanted to take".

"I asked him to wait until after the election, to give it some thought and consideration, but more recently he’s continued to hold that position.

"That’s been his call. Kelvin has made this decision, and it is one he’s made.

Ardern said she still wanted him as Labour’s deputy.

"He still has my full support and my full confidence. He will have my full support to remain as deputy leader of the Labour Party.

"There’s no reason why there can’t be that difference in role. The deputy leader of the Labour Party is a role that means taking on a lot of the care of the caucus, the connection with the party. It is a role Kelvin has had for the last three years without being the Deputy Prime Minister."

It comes as the new Cabinet is set to be revealed today. 

Yesterday, the Green Party and Labour signed a co-operation agreement. It is far less specific than the  2017 coalition and supply agreement.  Part of that was reflected in the appointment of just two ministers. The Green Party held three in the last Government.