The increasing war of words between NZ First and the Maori Party is interesting, and in fact may help both parties. Peters has called the Maori Party separatists and Sharples has compared Winston Peters to Don Brash (very unfair on Brash incidentially, but will work in provoking Peters).
The Maori Party is playing with fire to some degree. If the evidence in court is compelling, they risk being tarred with excusing serious criminal behaviour. But for now their willingness to stand up for Tuhoe is probably working with their potential voters, and the Government’s Maori MPs are feeling the pressure.
NZ First doesn’t have as much support from Maori voters as it used to. Partly this is due to the Maori Party. So Peters has little to lose by attacking the Maori Party and saying what many may agree with. Unlike National and Labour, he is unlikely to ever need to work with the Maori Party.No tag for this post.