A Ngāti Porou leader says the ACT party leader is trying to entice Māori to vote for the party by comparing its values to those of the late Sir Apirana Ngata.
The party's leader, Don Brash, says the prominent Māori politician and lawyer would have supported his party because of such concerns as Maori being dependent on welfare.
Ngāti Porou kaumātua Apirana Mahuika, who was named after the prominent Māori leader, believes Dr Brash is using Sir Apirana's name for political gain.
He says the late Ngāti Porou leader's goal was to uplift Māori in all areas including culture and economics, but that Dr Brash is not part of the Ngata philosophy and has run down Māori.
Dr Brash says his comments are not to gain support but instead to show that the ACT party promotes values similar to those of Sir Apirana Ngata.