Mana-Māori Party deal for all 7 Māori seats

The Māori and Mana parties have signed a deal agreeing not to stand against one another in all seven Māori electorate seats at the election.

It means Hone Harawira will be the sole contender against Labour's Kelvin Davis in Te Tai Tokerau, and the Māori Party’s candidates will be the sole contenders against Labour in all of the other six seats.

The agreement has just been signed in Whangarei between Māori Party president Tuku Morgan and Mana president Lisa McNab.

It aims to prevent the vote being split and makes for a tighter race with Labour - which currently holds six of the seven Māori seats.

Ms McNab says Labour's taken the Maori seats for granted for too long.

"Standing against one another only lets the party that stole our foreshore and seabed, steal our seats as well," she says.

"We have to be better than that. Those seats belong to the Māori people, not to anyone else."

Hone Harawira lost Te Tai Tokerau by 743 votes to Mr Davis in 2014, but if he had the support of all Māori Party voters, he would have won with a majority of 1836.

Mr Davis is welcoming the deal, saying the two parties cannot paper over the cracks which saw Mr Harawira thrown out of the Māori Party in 2011.

"They are welcome to each other. The sooner they get together, the sooner they'll tear each other apart," he says.

"There's a number of reasons why people should stand for Parliament, but just trying to restore your own battered pride isn't one of them."

The deal is not an alliance, and both parties will remain separate.


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