14 Oct 2008

Hide says Maori Party kingmaker role could be damaging

1:31 pm on 14 October 2008

ACT leader Rodney Hide says it could be very damaging if the Maori party ends up in the role of kingmaker after the election.

Mr Hide told Waatea News that while the country is lucky because the Maori party has put New Zealand's interests first, he is opposed in principle to ethnically based political parties.

He said that if the Maori Party were to be in the role of kingmaker, it could be damaging for the party itself, for MMP and for New Zealand politics.

"People will think hang on, how come these people in these Maori seats where I can't vote are getting to decide whether its going to be Helen Clark or John Key to be Prime Minister.

"That doesn't seem on the face of it fair. We've just had an election, why is it up the the Maori Party.

"Now, that's the nature of the system we have, it's no disrespect to the Maori Party but I think that would be a hard one to explain."

Mr Hide said other ethnic groups could find themselves asking why they shouldn't have special representation.