Māori Party want to learn from New Zealand First's successes and fight back at next election

Despite a sound defeat at last year's election, the Māori Party is vowing to fight on and contest the next election.

What began in hope 14 years ago has been reduced to a few dozen die-hard Māori Party members holding their AGM in a tiny Marae with empty seats.

But they're not giving up.

"We haven't been in parliament and we're still in the polls, and so that's a sign that people are still wanting us to be here," said Che Wilson, the Māori Party President.

In July, Te Ururoa Flavell resigned as co-leader. Six weeks later, Marama Fox did the same after being found to owe tens of thousands of dollars.

"Unreservedly apologise that this has hurt anybody," said Ms Fox.

 Members gave taonga to both leaders, and Mr Flavell told them he'll be supporting them from a distance. Ms Fox also happy to pass the baton on.

"Our voice is missing. It's never been so obvious until the time that we haven't been there," said Ms Fox.

"I'm quite excited by the future of the Māori Party because our young people coming through are so switched on. They have such a sure foundation of knowledge that I'm sure they'll carry us anywhere they need to go".

But the history of MMP hasn't been kind to minor parties kicked out of Parliament. The only leader to pull their party back from electoral obliteration was Winston Peters in 2011.

"The master himself was out and came back in again.  That's New Zealand First, and we've got to learn from those examples and just ensure we're getting simple messages which will get people to vote," said Mr Wilson.

The Māori Party will continue with weekly meetings of the three member executive team. They're promising there will be co-leaders before the next election and a list of candidates.

But a lack of funding means member will be asked to dip into their own pockets to keep the party going.