Greens launch Māori campaign, despite risk of splitting vote with Labour

  • 06/08/2017
Metiria Turei.
Metiria Turei. Photo credit: File

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei is back on the campaign trail after a tumultuous three weeks in politics.

She's launching the party's national Māori campaign at a function on Wellington's waterfront this afternoon.

Mr Turei said the Greens are campaigning hard for the party vote from Māori voters.

The party had more Māori candidates in both general and Māori electorates than ever before in this election campaign, and its strongest ever presence in Māori politics, she said.

Actor Rawiri Paratene will MC the launch, and local musician Matiu Te Huki will perform.

Ms Turei last week ruled out doing deals with Labour in the Māori seats, a decision criticised by Labour's Māori campaign manager, Willie Jackson.

"Metiria should understand we don't want National back in the Māori seats… it's nonsensical not to do deals," he told The Hui.

Labour launched its Māori campaign last weekend. Six of its seven Māori MPs are standing in electorates only, not on the list. Kelvin Davis was also going to do this, but was dragged back onto the list when he became deputy leader on Tuesday.

Tough week for the Greens

On Friday, Ms Turei said, despite having her heart set on the social development portfolio, she would not be a member of a Labour-Green Cabinet if one was formed after September's general election.

It's the price she's paying for admitting three weeks ago that she committed benefit fraud in the 1990s by lying about having flatmates while she was an unemployed solo mum and law student.

New revelations came on Thursday night with an admission her mother was one of those flatmates.

Ms Turei also admitted enrolling at a false address to vote for a friend in the 1993 election - an offence with a penalty of up to three months in jail.

NZN / Newshub.