In a surprise move Labour’s Maori seat MPs have opted to stand as electorate MPs only, and not go on the party list.
Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party was backing a request from its Maori electorate MPs in a move that was “a direct challenge by the Maori MPs to the Maori Party”.
“We’re confident our outstanding Maori electorate MPs will win their seats.
No, you’re worried they will lose their seats, which is why they are going electorate only. It is a signal to voters that they have no list parachute, so it is important to vote for them.
It is a tactically smart thing to do, as it may help them hold in in seats where the Maori or Mana parties are likely to run them close.
But it may be less smart strategically as now none of the Maori MPs have any incentive to campaign for the party vote, and they will focus on the electorate vote only.