20 Feb 2017

Mana and Māori Party set to unveil election deal

7:13 am on 20 February 2017

The Māori and Mana Parties will unveil their co-operation agreement this morning for the September election, which is likely to detail deals in all seven Māori seats.

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

After the Mana leader Hone Harawira lost his Te Tai Tokerau seat in 2014 and the Māori Party had a poor showing the two have been in negotiations about how they will work together to win more seats this election.

Talks between Mana and the Māori Party began last year as both parties eyed all seven Māori seats.

RNZ understands the deal to be unveiled in Whangārei later this morning will be that the Māori Party will stand aside in Te Tai Tokerau to give Mr Harawira a better chance of beating the incumbent, Labour's Kelvin Davis, who holds the seat with a slim majority of 743 seats.

In 2014, the Maori candidate Te Hira Paenga secured about 2500 votes.

In return, Mana is expected to bow out of the other six Māori seats, to boost the chances of a Māori Party win against Labour.

Other aspects of the deal are likely to include general principles for how the two parties will campaign, for example no personality or attack politics, but instead maintaining a focus on policy.

Speaking at Waitangi a few weeks ago as the deal was being finalised, the Māori Party President Tuku Morgan said their supporters had delivered a clear message they wanted both parties to work together.

"We know that victory will not come if we are not smart.

"There's a simple message here that our people expect from us: work together. Bring those seats home.

"That's exactly what we're going to do."

Mr Harawira also seemed to have taken stock after his dalliance with Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party, saying he intended to take a different approach.

"Everybody makes mistakes and far be it from me to say I'm not going to make any more.

"But I will do my best ... to try and ensure that there's a pathway by which we can do our bit to help our Māori people bring the Māori seats back to the Māori world," Mr Harawira said.

"They have made it clear: Hone, you guys have got to stop fighting one another. You've got to try and find a way by which you guys can be working together."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs