Danya Levy at Stuff reports:
The issue was discussed by the Maori Party’s national council in Huntly at the weekend. It later issued a statement saying “no deal”.
President Pem Bird said there was a strong message from the party’s membership that it should remain loyal to the people of Tai Tokerau by continuing to build its presence in the electorate.
“We had a large contingent from Te Tai Tokerau with us at the hui… Our brothers and sisters of Te Tai Tokerau led us to an emphatic conclusion that we would not sacrifice their seat for what might be seen as political opportunism and expediency.
“Basically the message we received loud and clear, was no deal.”
A principled but naive decision. Labour’s chances of winning Te Tai Tonga and Tamaki Makauru off the Maori Party have to be improved if the Mana Party stands in those seats.
There is a risk that the Maori Party could be reduced to two seats after the election.