22 Oct 2008

Maori Party members want deal with Labour - poll

11:52 am on 22 October 2008

Some Maori Party members do not support the view of their own leadership that the party could do a coalition deal with National after the election.

Party co-leader Tariana Turia says there is no point turning down a deal with National if it would help meet Maori aspirations.

But some party members say the party would hold hui after the poll and would get the overwhelming message that members favour a deal with Labour, not National.

Meremere Penfold, a Ngati Kuri elder and former Human Rights Commissioner, says she does not think a coalition deal between the Maori Party and National would happen.

Another party member, Ted Te Kohu Douglas, who is a Maori researcher currently teaching at Auckland University Business School, says the Maori Party would consult its members, after the vote and before any coalition deal.

He says the message would be overwhelmingly one way, for Labour.

The latest Marae DigiPoll, of 400 voters in two Maori electorates, shows 74% of voters favour a coalition with Labour, while only 24% want a Maori Party - National coalition.

Support for Helen Clark as Prime Minister was also overwhelming.

The poll was carried out between 24 September - 14 October. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9%.