Māori Party, Mana united at Rātana

The Māori Party and Mana Movement have made a symbolic appearance at Rātana Pa, being welcomed onto the Marae together in a show of election year unity. 

Mana leader Hone Harawira says the deal allows Mana to contest the Te Tai Tokerau seat without a candidate from the Māori Party, and vice versa in Waiariki.

"At this stage that is the arrangement we've got. Nothing is written in stone, but that's the plan at the moment," he says. 

Mr Harawira is hinting it could be rolled out nationwide across all seven Māori seats in a bid to break Labour's current near-monopoly.

It's designed to stop the non-Labour vote being split by Mana and Māori Party voters, and instead getting them behind a sole candidate. 

"We need to win them all back for Māoridom," he says. 

"What we are doing at the moment is focusing on both our leaders getting back in. That's me in Tai Tokerau, and Te Ururoa Flavell in Waiariki," says Mr Harawira. 

The deal does not mean the parties are merging, and they will not have a joint party list. 

"We are not Mana-Māori yet. We are Mana, and they are Māori. The policy differences remain. 

"We are working alongside one another, agreeing not to attack one another," he says.