'I can assure you' Te Pāti Māori 'will be the kingmaker come October' - Rawiri Waititi

The potential kingmaker of this year's election is certain the party will remain in that position come October and will help form the next Government.

It's been a political earthquake this week after Te Pāti Māori secured the stunning defection by Labour minister Meka Whaitiri.

The defection blinded Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, who was on his way to London at the time.

For the Māori Party, the defection was seen as a big power play - adding to their recent glimmering poll results that have it in the box seat to be the kingmaker. 

Rawiri Waititi, Te Pāti Māori's co-leader, told Newshub Nation the National Party's stance on working with them - which leader Christopher Luxon had all but ruled out - was "not working". 

"I just want to make it clear, here, that Te Pāti Māori's not left or right - we are Māori and we are straight up the guts," Waititi said when asked about potential coalition partners.

"The dream position for us is to ensure we get the policy gains that our people deserve." 

Waititi said the party would get policy gains "from being the korero on that whare".

"We will have those discussions come October but, I can assure you, that Te Pāti Māori will be the kingmaker come October."

Te Pāti Māori has said it would only work with parties focused on a Treaty of Waitangi-centric New Zealand.

The party was "looking at a different relationship in regards to the way we do politics", Waititi said.

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