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Harawira's party set to benefit Labour - former MP

Published: 9:39AM Tuesday April 26, 2011 Source: ONE News

Labour could be the winner with two warring Maori parties, a high profile Maori commentator and former MP says.

Willie Jackson made the comments ahead of the launch of Hone Hararwira's new party on Saturday, saying Harawira and the Maori party are too consumed with revenge.

"The vote will no doubt split and the danger is Labour will be returned in most of the Maori seats," said Jackson.

Jackson says Pita Sharples' seat of Tamaki Makaurau and Rahui Katene's seat of Te Tai Tonga could go to Labour if the Maori parties go against each other.

"Labour will be rubbing their hands in anticipation, this is a big opportunity for them," he said.

"Some of us are hoping the two groups think about this before they go to war."

A deal between Harawira and the Maori Party to not stand against each other seems to be disintegrating, with Harawira saying the deal was becoming difficult to accept.

"I ended up in a bad office, I ended up with a bad seat in parliament and I know the Maori Party have already approached at least six people that I know of in Tai Tokerau," said Harawira.

Harawira is alone in parliament now, but if he wins his seats he could bring in others from the list.

Some high profile names have been floated but ruled out. Sue Bradford won't stand and Willie Jackson has said 'no' for now.

Political activist Matt McCarten has also ruled out standing despite his position as the interim chairman of the party's working group.

But Maori rights campaigner Angeline Greensill is considering standing, while lawyer and activist Annette Sykes says she is also supportive of the new party.

Harawira says he has not approached anyone at this stage to stand.

Harawira said he had huge support for the party despite not having finished a nationwide tour, which wraps up this week.

Harawira said the party would focus on a small set of simple core issues backed by a good budget showing where the money was coming from and what outcomes would be achieved.

"I don't want us to go out with a 100-page manifesto, I just want us to go out with maybe a dozen really simple issues that most New Zealanders can understand," he told The Dominion Post.

The new party will be launched on Saturday. It is expected the word mana will be in the title.