Q+A: Labour’s Maori campaign launch

On Q+A this morning:

Labour list hopeful Willie Jackson and Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis ahead of Labour’s Māori campaign launch.

Jackson also had an airing on The Nation yesterday.

Newstalk ZB:  Labour threatens Māori Party with electoral annihilation

Labour’s threatening to wipe the Māori Party off the map, but the Māori Party’s star candidate is calling it an empty threat.

The Labour Party is launching its Māori electorate campaign and a Māori housing policy at Nga Whare Waatea Marae in south Auckland this morning.

They’ve enlisted former TV weatherman Tamati Coffey to stand against Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell in Waiariki. It’s the party’s only electorate seat.

Willie Jackson, who is running Labour’s Māori campaign, believes their days in parliament will be numbered if Flavell loses the seat.

“The reality is you can carry on, but their days in parliament will just about be over if they lost the Waiariki seat,” Jackson said.

But the Māori Party’s Shane Taurima, who is running in Tāmaki Makaurau, says his door knocking suggests otherwise.

“I guarantee you there is a big gap between Te Ururoa Flavell and Tamati Coffey in the Waiariki seat,” Taurima said.

Willie Jackson has also made a plea to the Green Party to extend their election alliance to Māori seats, after Greens co-leader Metiria Turei ruled out striking a deal.

Jackson argues that if the Greens want to change the government they shouldn’t be contesting the Māori seats that Labour needs to win.

On The Nation:

Lisa Owen: Let’s talk about you, though. Labour and the Maori seats. Aren’t you worried that your friends in the Green Party could split the vote in some of those seats?

Willie Jackson: Having a talk to them now. Am talking to some of the individuals in the Green Party.

Lisa Owen: What are you saying to them about that, then?

Willie Jackson: That we should work together and we should do a deal because the reality is the Greens are just talking about the party vote, aren’t they? Our Maori MPs went off the list and they’re looking at just winning their seats, so—

Lisa Owen: Are they open to this?

Willie Jackson: Well, I’ve talked to two or three candidates. I can’t name those candidates—

Lisa Owen: Auckland — Tamaki Makaurau — is one of the ones where you could potentially be in strife with splitting the vote there.

Willie Jackson: Well, she’s got popular, hasn’t she, Marama Davidson? So…

Lisa Owen: High profile. So is that one of the—?

Willie Jackson: Well, I can’t divulge the type of conversations we’re having, but, obviously, the Greens should work with us.

Lisa Owen: They haven’t ruled it out, though, Mr Jackson?

Willie Jackson: They certainly haven’t. Talking with different candidates, no, they haven’t worked it out because they are very clear, they just want the list vote.

Lisa Owen: So, in some seats, would your ideal scenario be, before the election, that you will do what Bill English did this week and say, ‘In this electorate, can you please vote for this candidate?’ You want an endorsement from the Greens in some of the Maori seats?

Willie Jackson: Absolutely. I have talked to one or two of them and we’re working this through because, surely, you don’t want to put the Maori Party candidate back in who will be jumping up and down trying to deal—

But Greens have ruled it out:

Jackson concedes that Labour have a battle on in several Maori electorates.

Davis is asked how the Maori seat contests will go when the Labour Party is struggling so much. He doesn’t challenge the ‘Labour struggling’ at all but talks to the positives for the Maori campaign.

Labour are trying to tie their Maori campaign to their wider campaign on housing.

Jackson is asked about talking to Greens in Maori electorates and is told of Turei’s tweet saying there is no dealing – he dismisses that as “she can tweet all she likes”.

They both say that Turei has no show of winning Te Tai Tonga.

Again “Labour is struggling…” – no challenge from either Jackson or Davis.



  1. Both Davis and Jackson waffled around the question of partnership schools, which they both support but will call something else.

    • Gezza

       /  30th July 2017

      Willie Jackson might turn out to have the perfect first name & to not know his arse from his elbow when it comes to predicting who’ll win the Maori seats. Possibly.

  2. Pete Kane

     /  30th July 2017

    Well his surname is easily adapted to his overall persona.

    • Gezza

       /  30th July 2017

      I’m a bit slow tonite, dozed off waiting for Sir Alan to turn up & rampage the threads & all he’s done is a recce. I’m not getting that one. Can you elaborate?