The Maori Party held a hui on the 17th of March, in Huntly, to try to resolve the leadership issue between Sharples and Flavell.
It was chaired by Tuku Morgan, who declared that there was no consensus for change. What has not been reported is that there was overwhelming support for Flavell to succeed Sharples as co-leader, but after the seven electorates voted, Tuku closed the meeting and declared that anything other than unanimity did not represent consensus.
I’ve been informed by someone credible who was at the Hui, that five of the seven Maori electorates voted that Flavell should succeed Sharples at some stage before the election.
Flavell won the votes of Hauraki-Waikato, Te Tai Hauāuru, Te Tai Tokerau, Te Tai Tonga and Waiariki.
Sharples was supported by Ikaroa-Rāwhiti (his whakapapa) and Tāmaki Makaurau only.
Many of those in attendance were flabbergasted that the moment the vote was declared, Tuku closed the meeting unilaterally declaring there was no consensus. If the Hui had been allowed to discuss the ramifications of the 5-2 vote, it is possible a compromise or succession plan could have been agreed upon.
Sharples’ latest attack on Flavell from China (to do so while part of a trade mission has some journalists saying it is a very bad look), accusing him of blackmail has dismayed many who know that there is a limited window of time for the Maori Party to work out a compromise, or risk losing some of their seats at the election.