Hours after being confirmed as a Labour election candidate, former broadcaster and MP Willie Jackson has had an interview he did with a Roast Busters victim three years ago come back to haunt him.
Mr Jackson has apologised for "any hurt" caused by the interview after Labour's sexual violence spokesperson Poto Williams said she couldn't support him as a colleague unless he did so.
"As the Labour Party Spokesperson for Family and Sexual Violence, I am concerned that Willie Jackson is becoming a Labour Party candidate with a prominent ranking on the list," Ms Williams said in a Facebook Post earlier this afternoon.
"I was a vocal opponent of Mr Jackson's comments during the 'Roast-Busters' incident and I do not believe that his attitude towards victims of sexual abuse match what I expect of a member of the Labour Party. Especially a member of our caucus," she wrote.
Speaking to reporters at Waitangi, Mr Jackson said he gave an apology after the interview by himself an co-host John Tamihere, apologised again a couple of days ago, "and happy to say sorry again for any hurt".
"You know that happened with that interview over three years ago. Of course nobody wants to put any hurt out there," he added.
"And it was an interview, you know, and we were in the role of talkback hosts. And sometimes as talkback hosts your job is to put both sides and things get taken out of context. And at the time I think the country was raging in terms of the whole Roast Busters area."
The 'Roast Busters' were a group of young Auckland men who allegedly sought to get underage girls drunk to sexually assault them.
Controversy raged over the group and the police response to the complaints of alleged victims.
In her post, Ms Williams said: "Not speaking out against abuse of any kind is condoning or tacitly endorsing that behaviour."
Mr Jackson said Ms Williams may be unaware of the work being done by To Pou Matakana, the Whanau Ora organisation he chairs, to turn around the negative statistics particularly in domestic violence and sexual violence.
"We have the biggest Maori social welfare contract in the country. And it's called to Pou Matakana. And when we got that contract there was a little bit of moaning I suppose at the time, given that unfortunate interview three years back.
"But we won the contract because of our work in the community, our work with Maori, our work with women," he said.
Mr Jackson, a former MP for the Alliance Party, will stand on Labour's list in the September 23 election.