11 Mar 2011

Maori Party ready to stand against Harawira

6:38 pm on 11 March 2011

The Maori Party says it is ready and willing to stand a candidate against its former MP, Hone Harawira, if he breaches the deal they struck when he left its ranks.

They agreed that, at the general election, he'd stand in Te Tai Tokerau as an independent, or as a member of another party.

In return the Maori Party wouldn't contest his seat.

They also agreed both parties would focus on the issues and not publicly criticise each other.

Mr Harawira says the party has reneged on that part of the deal and won't rule out standing candidates against the Maori Party if he has a new party up and running in time.

Party president Pem Bird says his party is ready to contest Te Tai Tokerau, if that happens.

However, Mr Harawira says he wants to salvage the deal he struck with the party when he left.

He says he doesn't want to be at war with his former colleagues, and will see if relations can be restored.