Maori Party versus Labour

A key contest this election is between the Maori Party and Labour, especially between Labour’s Maori MPs.

It is not certain that the Maori Party will survive the election, but if they do there are reports that Labour’s Maori MPs won’t allow a coalition with them.

Te Ururoa Flavell appears to have a tight battle with Tamati Coffey in the Waiariki seat. If Flavell loses that puts his party at risk.

The Maori party has another lifeline – Howie Tamati has polled ahead of Labour MP Adrian Rurawhe in Te Tai Hauāuru, and if he wins the Maori party will also survive.

If either or both Flavel and Tamati win then the Maori Party survive. There also seems to be a reasonable chance of them getting a second MP, either Tamati if he wins, or Marama Fox off the list again. There’s an outside chance of three MPs.

But If the Maori Party survive they have two problems having an influence in government. With National slipping repeating the arrangements of the last two terms looks slim.

The Maori Party are probably a better fit with Labour, but they seem to have a problem there too.

Jon Stokes: Labour’s Maori MPs will not allow a coalition with Maori Party

The dramatic change in the political landscape means even greater importance around the battle for the Māori seats. The rise of Labour has come by and large at the expense of its likely coalition partners, most notably the Greens and NZ First. Until recently Labour required both parties, and some, to form a government. Now a Labour, Greens and Māori Party arrangement could also be an option.

However, while this works in theory, in reality, it is nonsense and won’t happen.

The Labour Māori caucus would not allow any deal with the Māori Party. Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell would likely expect to keep the Minister of Māori Development and Whanau Ora portfolios. This won’t happen under a Labour Māori caucus led by Willie Jackson and Kelvin Davis.

It seems nonsensical to me that Labour’s Maori MPs would refuse a coalition with the Maori Party.

For one thing it could significantly reduce Labour’s coalition negotiating strength. On current polling they could feasibly form a government with Greens+Maori or alternately with NZ First, and theoretically with both NZ First and the Maori Party.

If there is no chance of the Maori Party being involved that means Labour may only have one option, NZ First, and that strengthens Winston’s hand significantly, and he wants an anti-Maori seat referendum.

While Jacinda Ardern has stepped up when she took over the Labour leadership Kelvin Davis seems to have taken to his new responsibilities far less smartly.

Will Ardern pull Davis and Jackson into line over dealing with the Maori Party? Or will Maori rivalries be one of the first threats to unity in the new government (presuming Labour leads it)?

Leave a comment


  1. Gezza

     /  8th September 2017

    Labour don’t even seem to have a Maori Affairs policy – got one for Pacific Island Affairs,

    & for Multi-Cultural Communities : “Labour will:
    Deliver a package of initiatives to create safer communities
    Run a voluntary trial civic engagement course for new and recent migrants to support engagement in community and public life
    With the state sector, establish a two year trial programme to create more equitable opportunities for migrants to advance into senior positions including structured mentoring, pro-active promotion of opportunities to multicultural communities, and a ‘blind’ job application process for senior positions”

    If it’s anything like last time once they’ve got their votes they’ll just ignore them again!

    • PDB

       /  8th September 2017

      Labour have done nothing for Maori for decades but Maori appear to be heading back to Labour this election only to be ignored again.

      The Labour Maori MP’s will be similarly ignored as Labour/Greens will look to do a deal with the Maori party in order to avoid dealing with Winston.

      • Gezza

         /  8th September 2017

        Would be a wise course of action. Involving Winston in any coalition is a very dodgy bet.

  2. Blazer

     /  8th September 2017

    Old heads in Maoridom know very well,that their natural partner is Labour…not National and its tokenism.

    • Gezza

       /  8th September 2017

      No. They know it used to be. But Helen shat on them from a great height, & National had pragmatism & non-tribalism going for them.

    • PDB

       /  8th September 2017

      That’s the only reason Maori would vote Labour – tradition. National has done far more for Maori for at least the last 3 decades.

  3. PDB

     /  8th September 2017

    You know voters have lost the plot this election when Flavell may be tossed out for Tamati Coffey.

  4. pickled possum

     /  8th September 2017

    Housing crisis!!! Says Tamati Coffey

    Tauranga Papamoa they got houses for Africa.
    Rent cheaper than Auckland.

    How can Ururoa give his energy to this circus and still stay sane?

    Kelvin says all nz own water
    Hone says Maori own the water
    Yep a real shit fight over that taake alone with labour and Maori.
    Nat say that no one owns the water but shhh farmers own it ..
    Act say patupaiarehe waitaha own it
    TOP say Maori own water
    Green say we own it, we will charge per litre and give half to Maori


Leave a Reply to patupaiarehe Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: