Two Maori seats appear to be safe

There had been reports that Te Ururoa Flavell was being run very close by Labour’s Tamati Coffey in Waiariki, but a Maori television/Reid Research poll suggests otherwise.

  • Te Ururoa Flavell (Maori Party) 60.1%
  • Tamati Coffey (Labour) 39.9%

It was a small sample size of 400 but that looks to be a comfortable lead. If Flavell wins this the Maori Party will be safely back into Parliament.

And Nanaia Mahuta is even more comfortable in Hauraki-Waikato:

  • Nanaia Mahuta (Labour) 78%
  • Rahui Papa (Maori Party) 22%

The Maori King’s backing of the Maori Party doesn’t seem to have made any difference there.

But both polls were had small sample sizes of 400 and were conducted from 11 July to 3 September, an unusually long polling period.

Both polls included party support but over such a period makes them of dubious value now.



Maori king versus Nanaia Mahuta

King Tuheitia has endorsed one of his advisors to stand for the Maori Party in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate, which will put him up against Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta.

This is a significant challenge to Mahuta and Labour.

Stuff: King Tuheitia endorses Maori Party candidate and tells Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta to step aside

Labour MP and Maori stalwart Nanaia Mahuta says King Tuheitia’s influence over his people will be tested on election day when those in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate cast their vote.

Mahuta’s shaking off the Maori King’s criticisms of her and his endorsement of Rahui Papa – one of the King’s advisors – for the Maori Party in her seat.

Tuheitia made the rare move of endorsing Papa at Parawera Marae, south of Hamilton, on Thursday.

He called for Mahuta, his cousin, to stand aside and let someone else represent the seat because she no longer has any “mana” in parliament.

Rare? I think this is unprecedented.

Mahuta seems to be virtually invisible in Parliament. Maori MPs often do a lot of work under the media radar in their electorates, but being so openly challenged in her home patch is a major challenge for Mahuta.

Mahuta has represented the electorate for more than 20 years but says she has never been “formally endorsed” by Kingitanga, the Maori King movement, and Thursday’s events were an “odd situation”.

Quite an odd situation.