21 Feb 2017

Labour's Andrew Little dismisses Maori-Mana deal

From Morning Report, 7:13 am on 21 February 2017

Labour leader Andrew Little is dismissing the truce between Hone Harawira's Mana Movement and the Maori Party, saying they have nothing to offer Maori voters.

In a deal formally announced yesterday, the Maori Party will stand aside in Te Tai Tokerau to improve Mr Harawira's chances of winning the seat back from Labour's Kelvin Davis.

In return, Mr Harawira's Mana Movement won't contest the other six seats, which should improve the Maori Party's chances of taking them.

Mr Little says he's not contemplating working with the Maori Party if he's in a position to form the government after the election.

He says the Maori Party is effectively the Maori arm of the National Party and argues Maori voters will be better served by Labour MPs.

But Hone Harawira says Maori voters are tired of white political leaders telling them what's good for them and what their aspirations should be.

He says Mr Little's comments are inappropriate and quite nasty.

He  told the Morning Report he finds it quite astounding how arrogant Labour leaders can be when talking about what Maori need.