End is nigh for Māori Party - Willie Jackson

Labour candidate Willie Jackson is predicting the end of the Māori Party after this year's election.

Mr Jackson is running the campaign for Labour's Māori MPs, all of whom made the "principled decision" to come off the list and earn their spots in Parliament by winning electorates.

Mr Jackson told The Nation on Saturday he wouldn't be surprised if Labour made a clean sweep of the seven Māori seats.

"We're going pretty well. I expect to win six, but I wouldn't be surprised if we took all seven," he told host Lisa Owen.

"It could be very close to the end for the Māori Party. It would be sad for a lot of people if that happens, but that's the game we're in… nothing personal."

The toughest seat for Labour to win is likely to be Waiariki, currently held by Te Ururoa Flavell - Māori Party co-leader and Minister for Māori Affairs.

Mr Jackson said polls - both internal and public - have put Labour candidate Tamiti Coffey within 1 and 6 percent.

"If Te Ururoa doesn't get in, they're gone."

Mr Jackson says he's currently talking to the Greens about their plans to stand candidates in Māori seats, over fears they'll split the vote and allow candidates from the National-aligned Māori Party to sneak through the middle.

"The reality is the Greens are just talking about the party vote. Our Māori MPs went off the list and they're looking at just winning their seats."

He says it's not a "dirty" tactic, because "National's been doing it forever" in Ōhāriu and Epsom.

Newshub.

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