29 Nov 2016

Māori parties' alliance could push Fox out of Parliament

8:46 am on 29 November 2016

An alliance between the Māori and Mana Parties could mean the end of Māori Party co-leader and List MP Marama Fox's days in Parliament if she doesn't win her seat.

Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox

Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox Photo: RNZ / Mei Heron

The two parties have agreed to an alliance going into the 2017 elections with the aim of winning all seven Māori seats, six of which are currently held by the Labour Party.

In just two years, Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox has built an impressive political reputation.

The mother of nine and former rousey has not been afraid to speak out of turn, and knows how to operate on the Pā and in Parliament.

But the new formal agreement between her party and the Mana Party could see her drop off the list at the next election.

Political commentator Scott Campbell said if she stood in her home seat of Ikaroa Rāwhiti again, she may not make it back to Parliament.

"If the Māori Party were to get four to five seats in Parliament they would need over 4 to 5 percent of the party vote, so absolutely that would mean Marama Fox wouldn't be back in Parliament," he said.

"Absolutely there's a risk in that."

It is understood the Mana Party and the Māori Party will stand aside for each other in certain seats. Mana Party leader Hone Harawira said there was more work to be done on the details.

"There's an understanding that we need to think a bit more clearly about it. We then have to look about what seats go where, who's the best people to be standing in those seats for which party, and what happens to the party vote, so there's a long way to go yet on this."

When asked whether it meant the end for Ms Fox he said it was important to stay focused on winning seats back from Labour.

"We're not doing this to try to win Marama's seat or kill her, we're doing this to try and get Māori seats back that are Māori - not to National or Labour."

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira (left) and Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira (left) and Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan. Photo: Supplied

Kelvin Davis, who won the Te Taitokerau seat from Hone Harawira last election, said it was important voters understood what was at stake.

"Any MP that comes in on the Māori Party ticket in an electorate will kick Marama Fox out and she'll be a one term wonder"

Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan has promised high profile candidates, with former league star and local body councillor Howie Tamati announced last month as its candidate for the Te Tai Hauāuru seat.

Mr Campbell said there would be more to come.

"The word is there will be some high profile names to come out over the next few months from the Māori Party about who they're going to be standing in certain seats, so I think their focus will be on winning those seats."

Mr Davis isn't phased by the Māori alliance and says it's not a threat.

"I'm here to change the government and anyone who stands against me is going to basically be a vote for the current government and Māori don't want this current government."

Just what the finer details of the alliance will be have not been worked out.

Mr Harawira admits that on some policy the two parties are decades apart, but he said both parties agreed there was mana in a party built by Māori for Māori.

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