Via RadioNZ, and referring to the Labour party list in New Zealand’s MMP system:
Labour leader Phil Goff says the party’s list positions can’t be requested and are decided on merit.
Mr Goff was responding to a request from the president of the Ratana church to provide high list positions for four Ratana members.
A spokesperson for the church’s president Andre Meihana earlier said that the president had made some requests of Labour that were crucial to his ongoing support.
Mr Goff and about 20 of his MPs received a warm reception as they arrived on the marae at Ratana on Sunday afternoon.
Mr Goff says his party is still strongly supported by the Ratana Church, and he plans to build the relationship further.
But he says any group within the Labour Party knows a list seat is something that comes from merit and from working and gaining the respect of peers.
Mr Goff says list positions are not appointed by the leader or the party’s president.
The story goes on to note that the Maori Party is also courting members of the Ratana Church, which has been cose to the Labour Party since an agreement struck in the 1930s.