1 Jul 2013

Mana and Maori at risk of losing seats

7:51 pm on 1 July 2013

The Maori and Mana parties are being urged to reconcile or risk losing their seats to Labour in the next election.

Mana's leader, Hone Harawira, suggests the two parties should join - after the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election results showed the combined votes of Mana and Maori would have won the seat.

Adjunct professor of indigenous studies at the Auckland University of Technology, Rawiri Taonui, says merging is a good idea.

Dr Taonui says that a drop in the Maori electoral roll shows that the infighting between Mana and Maori is taking a toll on voters, who are giving up on the idea of an independent Maori voice leading them into the future.

He says if the parties fail to reconcile, Labour could take six or seven of the seats in the next election.

Several thousand fewer people have joined the Maori Electoral roll so far the deadline for which is the end of the month.