Labour Party leader Phil Goff, and deputy leader Annette King have announced they will stand down from the party leadership on Tuesday December 13, following the November 26 election loss where Labour won 27% of the vote.
The two would not seek to be on the Labour Party front bench under the new leadership. Both still hold their electorate seats - Goff in Mt Roskill, Auckland, and King in Rongotai, Wellington - so will remain in Parliament.
Goff said there were a number of members of the caucus who had indicated their desire to become leader or deputy leader of the party. They were David Cunliffe, David Parker, David Shearer, Grant Robertson and Nanaia Mahuta.
Goff said he could not rule out there would be other candidates. He said the new leadership team would get his full support from whatever position he was given in the House of Representatives.
Media speculation in the last few days has focussed on the possiblity of David Cunliffe running for leader with Nanaia Mahuta as his number two, against David Parker and number two Grant Robertson. David Shearer is considered the dark horse in the race.
Goff told media he hoped the new leadership would stick with the 'hard decision' policies announced this election campaign, including a capital gains tax, raising the retirement age from 65 to 67 between 2020 and 2033, and compulsory KiwiSaver.
Goff said he took responsibility for Labour's 27% vote in the polls on election day. He noted the 2002 National Party, which just got over 20% of the vote, recovered to within a whisker of winning the 2005 election. Likewise, Labour's 1996 vote, when it lost, was similar to its share of the vote this election (see his comments in the video above).
(Updates with video)