Labour's Maori candidates won't be on party list

Labour's Māori seat MPs will stand as electorate-only candidates in the September election.

The decision means they will not have the fallback of being on the Labour Party's list, which would have meant they could still be elected if they lose their electorate. 

Labour leader Andrew Little said the move is a direct challenge to the Māori Party. "If Māori want to see progress on the problems they face in housing, health and education, then they should back their Labour candidate." 

Labour MP Kelvin Davis said the request was because of strength, unity and confidence in the Māori caucus.

"We back ourselves to help Māori make progress on the problems they face in housing, health and education," he said.

 "We're confident our outstanding Māori electorate MPs will win their seats," Mr Little said.

The Labour Party will have to grant a waiver to the MPs wanting to be excluded from the list.

Māori Vice-President Tane Phillips said in the press release that the Māori team will be "looking for a mandate".

NZN/Newshub

Andrew Little Maori MPs electorate
Andrew Little (file)