The Hui poll: National MP Shane Reti says Māoridom's love affair with Labour is over

The National Party believe the latest polls show Māoridom's "love affair" with Labour is over with many wanting to see something done about the cost of living crisis.

The Hui, with Horizon Research, carried out its first poll of the year, finding 37 percent of Māori voters remain loyal to the party, while 17 percent have indicated some sort of switch away from Labour.  It’s a significant decline from 54 percent support for Labour in 2020.

The Hui poll: National MP Shane Reti says Māoridom's love affair with Labour is over
Photo credit: The Hui

The decline for Labour was also reflected in the 1News-Kantar Public Poll released on Thursday night where more Kiwis were in favour of National (39 percent) than Labour (37 percent), the first time the centre-right party has taken the lead in more than two years. 

National MP Dr Shane Reti feels the poll results show Māori care more about the cost of living crisis than Labour. 

"I have to say, looking at the poll in my summary of this is that Māori's love affair with Labour is over," Dr Reti told The Hui on Monday.

"You know, a sausage in a piece of bread at Waitangi Day doesn't cut it anymore. When food prices have gone up 13 percent since they came into government, rent's another $140 a week and it's $45 to fill the petrol tank in an average car. 

"And so this love affair is finished. And now, you know, we all need to button down and work on the things that matter."

As inflation begins to hit Kiwis' back pocket, 72 percent in The Hui poll said the cost of living is the main issue they will vote on, followed by housing and health. 

The Hui poll: National MP Shane Reti says Māoridom's love affair with Labour is over
Photo credit: The Hui

The cost of living in New Zealand is skyrocketing and is seeing Kiwis spend, on average, an extra $4000 to $5000 in the past 12 months on basics such as food, rent and fuel. The majority of the increase is fuel, with an extra $678 a year at the pump on average.

The Government made its first move on Monday to address the crisis. They announced it will cut 25 cents a litre off fuel and road user charges for three months and halve the price of public transport for the same amount of time to help ease the financial pressure at the petrol pump.

It will come into effect on Tuesday and save motorists $11-17 per average fill-up, depending on the type of vehicle. 

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says neither National nor Labour have tackled the issues that matter most to Kiwis. 

"Do you know what the real issue has been? Doesn't matter whether you're red or blue. Neither successive government have done what really is required, which is to start making decisions that affect those at the top of the food chain, including within the supermarket sector, including capital gains tax," she told The Hui.

"I mean, Labour has a really strong mandate. It could have done that, but if it's really committed to poverty, it could have done it.

"This government has been shy of using its absolute ability to do things and challenge. We just had the House Committee and got completely overruled because they have the numbers." 

Made with support from Te Māngai Pāho and the Public Interest Journalism Fund.