24 Oct 2008

Setting 'bottom line' issues has problems, warns Key

11:56 am on 24 October 2008

National leader John Key is warning its potential coalition partner, the Maori Party, against setting 'bottom lines' too early.

The Maori Party says the price of its support for the next Government would include entrenchment of the Maori seats, meaning they could not be abolished without the approval of 75% of MPs.

National's policy is to begin the process of getting rid of the seats as soon as all historic treaty claims are settled, which it says could be by 2014.

John Key told Waatea News it is campaign season megaphone politics from the Maori Party.

"MMP is such a matrix of parties that can come together, that once you start spelling out bottom lines you get to a point where everything you announce you have to backtrack a bit about whether it really is a bottom line.

"From our point of view, we've got a process. I think that's a better position to be in.

"The process is that if we're in a position to put together a Government then after the election we'll go and talk to the relevant players."

John Key says National has a good relationship with the Maori party.