A political scientist is predicting the Maori Party is most likely to have its female co-leader outside of Parliament.
The party launched its election campaign at the weekend.
Maria Bargh, who specialises in Maori Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, said the three women attempting to replace Tariana Turia as co-leader would struggle to win in the electorates they were standing in.
She said the wahine would be standing in electorates that were likely to be held by Labour who were fielding strong candidates.
Ms Bargh said it would be difficult for one of the party's three female candidates, Susan Cullen, Ngaire Button and Marama Fox to replace Mrs Turia within Parliament.
Under the Maori Party constitution the co-leaders will have to be chosen within six weeks after the election.