Meanwhile, former Labour MP Judith Tizard said last night she may take at least a week to decide if she wants to return to Parliament.
Party leader Phil Goff rang her yesterday to ask if she was planning to take the spot vacated by Hughes.
Tizard said she had "some unfinished business" and it would also be nice to say "stick it up you" to those who didn't want her back.
Tizard plans to speak to friends, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark before she decides.
Asked if she supported Goff as leader, she said: "He has to decide if New Zealanders see him as a future Prime Minister. Phil could be a Prime Minister. I think a Prime Minister has to lead, has to be very fair, very generous. The question for Phil is if he can step up to that."
The vacancy created by Hughes' resignation is legally Judith Tizard's if she decides to accept it, and Phil Goff and Andrew Little can do nothing about it. Over at Kiwiblog yesterday, DPF provided a step-by-step analysis of the process under the Electoral Act that will be applied to fill the vacancy.
But Phil Goff would not be human if he wasn't just a tad concerned, especially with Ms Tizard's plans to discuss her options with her close friend Helen Clark. If there is any truth in reports in the NBR and Scoop of the New York branch of the Labour Party, Goff's concerns would be well founded. We wonder of the threat of a return by Judith Tizard may end up being a tool with which to leverage a leadership challenge. After all, Tizard's reported comments above are hardly a ringing endorsement of Goff's leadership prowess
As for Judith Tizard; Barry Soper reported on Newstalk ZB that she had told him she had unfinished business. Being defeated in the 2008 election meant that she left Parliament without delivering a valedictory speech. Soper suggested that she may want the chance to put that right.
We reckon that an interetsting week awaits Phil Goff; there is talk of a meeting of senior caucus members on Monday and Tuesday; there is the threat of a leadership challenge; and of course, there's the small matter of replacing Darren Hughes. The last seven days have been tough on Goff, and there's no indication that the pressure will ease any time soon.