Labour says Māori seats are safe

By Talisa Kupenga

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says Labour is favouring New Zealand First over Māori when it comes to the Māori seats, but Labour Leader Andrew Little says the Māori seats are safe.

Hone Harawira says Labour is shafting Māori because they need Winston post-election.

Labour Leader Andrew Little says "Hone is like a fantasist at the best of times. We've resolutely defended the Māori seats."

Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis says Harawira is a hypocrite.

"It seems they've forgotten it was the Mana Party that sold-off the Tai Tokerau seat to Kim Dotcom for $3.5million last election."

NZ First leader Winston Peters is proposing a referendum to abolish the Māori seats, Little says he’s not surprised.

"This is not a new issue for Winston he's put it up in previous governments and cabinets that he's been part of and nothing ever changed then."

Labour holds six of seven Māori seats, Davis is confident he can keep his.

"When door-knocking in Northland there's only one name we're hearing and that's mine, nobody else’s."

Little says "[the Māori seats] are there we've got them and we're not giving them up. There are more important issues than whether or not to abolish the Māori seats.”