Māori Party looks to heal divide with Harawira

  • 20/07/2016
Māori Party looks to heal divide with Harawira

Another attempt is being made to heal the rift between Hone Harawira and the Māori Party.

Mr Harawira quit the party five years ago over its support agreement with National, and formed the Mana Movement.

He resigned from Parliament, fought a by-election and won.

Tentative reconciliation attempts came to nothing, and Mr Harawira lost his Te Tai Tokerau seat to Labour's Kelvin Davis in the 2014 general election.

Now Tukoroirangi Morgan, elected president of the Māori Party on Saturday, says he's going to meet Mr Harawira and have another go.

The aim appears to be for the parties to work together in the run-up to next year's election, and not get in each other's way.

The Te Tai Tokerau vote was split in 2014 and Mr Morgan is pointing out that if the Māori Party had stood aside, Mr Harawira could have won.

Mr Morgan is also saying the Māori Party will focus on winning all seven Māori seats and at least four percent of the party vote - in 2014 it managed just 1.3 percent.

Mr Harawira left the Māori Party after co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell laid a complaint against him under the party's constitution.

When RNZ asked Mr Morgan whether Mr Flavell and the other co-leader, Marama Fox, were backing his bid for a peace pact, he replied: "Te Ururoa isn't the party president, I am."

Mr Harawira drifted into the political background after the 2014 election but came out of it last month, saying he would stand in Te Tai Tokerau next year.