Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has lashed out at the Maori Party during a meeting ahead of Saturday's by-election.
The forum was organised for the three main Te Tai Tokerau candidates to talk about their education policies, but the Maori Party's Solomon Tipene pulled out after being admitted to hospital.
Mr Harawira told the meeting he did not what he described as the Maori Party's "bullshit tactics" and called Mr Tipene's absence suspect.
Mr Harawira told the meeting he should have been told about Mr Tipene's absence earlier.
The Maori Party says Mr Tipene was suffering from a stomach infection that required him to be put on intensive antibiotics.
His stand-in, Te Ururoa Flavell, says Mr Harawira's comments are a bit rich, considering he was absent from a previous education forum.