Labour leader's decision may alienate voters in Māori electorates

A recent decision by Labour leader David Cunliffe may alienate voters in the Māori electorates.

Māori Television Reid Research poll results revealed over the last few weeks on the Native Affairs – Kōwhiri 14 Māori electorate debate specials show the majority of voters in the Māori electorates would prefer the Māori Party go into coalition with Labour if the Māori Party held the balance of power in the upcoming election.

However Cunliffe seems to have closed the door on a possible coalition with the Māori Party.

“I’ve said there will only be 3 parties in the Government that I lead inside the Government. That will be Labour the largest Party working with the Greens and potentially NZ First, we will not have the Māori Party inside the Government they won’t be sitting at the Cabinet table they won’t be Ministers outside Government.”

According to the Māori Television Reid Research Poll results gathered in 6 of the Māori electorates so far, the majority of voters in those regions would like to see a working relationship formed between the Māori Party and Labour.

Over 60% of voters in Te Tai Tonga, Te Taihauāuru, Waiariki, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Tāmaki Makaurau and Hauraki-Waikato would prefer to see the Māori Party form a coalition with Labour, if the Māori Party held the balance of Power.

Nanaia Mahuta defended the Cunliffe's decision in the Hauraki-Waikato debate saying, “at the end of the day we are backing ourselves in Māori and general seats and we’re saying the strongest position if you’re gonna have a Labour Government is to back the Labour Māori candidates.”

Māori Party candidate for Hauraki-Waikato Susan Cullen responded saying, “we have always said we will be there for a Labour led Government if the nation calls for that, or we will be there for a National led Government.”

On Monday at 8:30pm on Māori Television the final Native Affairs Māori electorate debate will take place between the candidates vying for the vote in Te Taitokerau.