Election 2014

6 Oct 2008

National would only discuss Maori seats after election

10:40 am on 6 October 2008

The National Party says any negotiation with the Maori Party on National's policy to abolish the Maori seats would happen after the election.

National's policy is to abolish the Maori electorates from 2014, while the Maori Party says it could only support National if it entrenches the seats in legislation, in the same way as general seats.

A spokesman for the National Party says it will retain the policy to abolish the seats from 2014, and if it needs to talk with the Maori Party after the election to form a government, it will discuss the issue then.

Party leader John Key says he will not pre-judge negotiations on Maori seats.

Maori Party leaders are asking party members to think through carefully any coalition arrangements the party may consider after the election.

Labour leader Helen Clark says it would be wrong for a Pakeha majority government to abolish the Maori seats.