Kelvin Davis has dismissed Hone Harawira's "two-for-one" election strategy, calling it a "waste of time".
Mr Harawira lost Te Tai Tokerau to Mr Davis in 2014, but wants his old seat back - urging voters to give him their electorate vote, knowing Mr Davis will get into Parliament anyway as number two on Labour's list.
"It's an opportunity to ensure that we don't just have two Tai Tokerau MPs in the House, but two Tai Tokerau MPs on the front bench," he said earlier this week.
"It's a win-win for Tai Tokerau."
Mr Davis was originally only going to contest the electorate, as were all of Labour's Māori MPs, but was put back on the list when he took the deputy leadership on Tuesday.
He told The Nation on Saturday Mr Harawira is "yesterday's news".
"Te Tai Tokerau needs quality, not quantity. I'll stand my record of the last three years up against anything in the previous nine years."
Voters will still get a two-for-one, says Mr Davis - him.
They could get a Deputy Prime Minister… as well as the MP for Te Tai Tokerau. That's the two-for-one."
Te Tai Tokerua is one of the seven Māori seats - which could be history if New Zealand First has its way. Winston Peters says a referendum on the seats is one of his party's bottom lines for a coalition deal.
"Hone Harawira tried to sell the Te Tai Tokerau for $3.5 million last election to Kim Dotcom, and here's Winston trying to give away all seven for nothing," said Mr Davis.
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, also on The Nation, says it's up to Māori to decide whether they stay or go.
"The Māori seats are for Māori to decide. Labour will allow only Māori to make the decision about those seats."
Mr Davis said Māori wouldn't vote to get rid of them.
"We've become quite fond of them, to be honest. We really don't want them to go."