11 Jul 2011

Maori Party says no deal with Harawira's Mana Party

6:03 am on 11 July 2011

The Maori Party has ruled out making a deal with Hone Harawira's newly formed Mana Party.

Mr Harawira left the Maori Party after speaking out against its leaders and fought to win the Te Tai Tokerau by-election as a Mana Party MP.

After the by-election, Mr Harawira said he wanted to forget the past and form a deal with his former party.

Negotiators for Mana attempted to strike a deal with the Maori Party which would have meant Te Tai Tokerau would not be contested at the general election in November.

But Maori Party president Pem Bird says the deal was put to the National Council on Sunday and it is against the deal.

He says the council members want the party to continue to build its infrastructure against Mr Harawira in the north.

Mr Bird says the party will not sacrifice the Te Tai Tokerau seat for what might be seen as political opportunism and expediency.

Mana Party negotiator Willy Jackson says Mr Harawira was offering an olive branch, and any Maori Party candidate who stands against him will not have a chance of winning.