25 Oct 2013

National a no-go zone in Maori-Mana link

7:29 pm on 25 October 2013

The Mana Party says the Maori Party will need to pull away from National if the pair are to work together.

The Maori Party is to hold talks with Mana next week - something Mana has wanted for some time.

Annette Sykes.

Annette Sykes. Photo: MANA PARTY

Maori Party president Naida Glavish says it is vital they work with other parties to meet the needs of Maori and to hold open discussions on an issue-by-issue basis.

Ms Glavish says they have left themselves open to working with whoever is in government at any time - be they blue or red, green or yellow.

Mana Party president Annette Sykes says she is looking forward to the meeting, but the movement does not want to be involved in a relationship that helps put National back in power after the 2014 election.

Ms Sykes says while the Maori Party has been sitting at the table with National, the lives of many in marginal communities have worsened, including in Rotorua where 120 people lost their jobs at a sawmill on Friday.

She believes there needs to be a step-change to ensure that Maori don't continue to suffer.

Ms Sykes says any policy gains that Mana and the Maori Party could make together are minimal compared to the damage National is doing every day.

Mana Movement leader Hone Harawira has always wanted to have discussions.

However in the past, Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell has said any partnership with Mana would be a struggle.