The Herald reports:
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox and Mana leader Hone Harawira have come to an informal agreement for a ceasefire in the run up to the 2017 election as they try to win back the Maori seats from the Labour Party.
The Maori Party will have its annual conference tomorrow [Saturday] and Fox said it was likely the Mana Party would be discussed. She had met informally with Harawira recently.
“There is still no appetite amongst either party for a formal agreement at this stage but what we don’t want to do is have scraps in the media over things, because we basically want the same thing for our people. We cannot afford to split the Maori vote. “
Harawira said he caught up with Fox when they were both in Auckland recently. “We just had a coffee and said in terms of where things go in 2017 let’s not get too caught up in all the policy or personality issues. Just very much flagging the possibility of not getting into any s***fights with one another between now and the election, perhaps.
We’ll see how it goes.”
That sounds sensible. Labour gains if they fight each other.
But I doubt there can be a long-term merger as fundamentally Mana is a party of the hard left and the Maori Party is a party of the centre which says it will work with both major parties. Mana says it will never ever support or work with a National-led Government which means they, like the Greens, lose influence.