Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says his party will not underestimate the challenge ahead as it prepares to battle Labour for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate.
A by-election is expected by the end of June for the seat, which Parekura Horomia held for the Labour Party from 1999 until his death a week ago.
The Maori Party met with the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate council on Monday to put a plan in place for the by-election.
Te Ururoa Flavell says the timeline is so short, it's important that a candidate is chosen soon.
He says the Maori Party has a good chance of winning the seat, but it doesn't underestimate the influence Parekura Horomia had over voter choices.
He says his party has always contested the seat and that won't change.
Mr Flavell says it won't let the seat fall in to Labour's hands just because it happens to be the incumbent party.