Exclusive: Laila Harre rejoins Labour Party, sets her sights on standing in election

She's back.

More than 30 years after quitting, Harre is a party member again and talking about standing for election. Source: 1 NEWS

Laila Harre, Kim Dotcom in background. Source: 1 NEWS

After 30 odd years, Laila Harre has re-joined the Labour Party - and she wants to be a Labour candidate at next year's election.

"It's been a while. It's really great to be back," says Ms Harre, who first joined Labour in 1982 at the tender age of 15.

It has been a varied, roller-coaster ride of a political career since then.

She parted ways with Labour in the late 1980s; disillusioned by the reforms at state asset sales of the David Lange Labour Government and the "Rogernomics" policies of the then Finance Minister Roger Douglas.

Jim Anderton left too and Laila Harre joined him at NewLabour, which later morphed into the Alliance, which was a grouping of NewLabour, the Democratic Party, Mana Motuhake, and the Greens.

Harre says she's Andrew Little's "biggest fan".

"I've never really felt strongly reconnected to a political party since the Alliance and I am rediscovering those connections in Labour which is a really great place to be," she said.

The veteran campaigner says she does regret her four months with the Internet Party because of the damage it did to her reputation.

But she says the movement did draw more people to politics.

"We did what we did to make it possible to change the government.

"We became the meat in the sandwich between Labour and the Greens and the National party. And I think when you look back that was a really difficult situation. I found it extremely difficult."

Now she believes that the time isn’t right for new political parties.

"The Left, I guess have consolidated around Labour and the Greens - and Labour, I think, are really strongly reconnecting to their roots and they are my roots in the trade union movement."

Labour's general secretary Andrew Kirton said it was great to have someone with "her talent and experience" back to the party.

And while she's welcome to stand, she'll have to go through Te same process as other hopeful candidates.