Māori Party debates own leadership

While Māori Party co-leader Pita Sharples agrees there will be a time of leadership for Te Ururoa Flavell in the Māori Party, that time he believes is not now. 

Political Commentator Willie Jackson says the clashing statements from the co-leaders are a clear sign the party is in trouble with Tariana giving clear direction in a radio interview with Jackson that she expected Sharples to stand down from his leadership role.

With Rātana celebrations approaching, the Māori Party will be challenged about its future. Rātana Pā is a staunch base for Tariana Turia and commentators believe she’ll announce her successor at the hui.

Two names flagged as possible replacements for Turia include Rahui Katene and Kaapua Smith-Purks. When questioned about his preference Sharples claimed both women were extremely talented and either would make a good replacement. However commentators believe experience in the political arena is the key to a strong and effective successor.

While the announcement of Tarianas successor is expected soon, whether or not her co-leader plans to follow her lead is still very much up in the air with Sharples claiming it is time for Māori to make their choice. So while Te Ururoa Flavell has the backing of Tariana Turia, Sharples claims he has the backing of the people and supporters of the Māori Party. He claims he has every intention of remaining co-leader until the people tell him otherwise.

Politicians will converge at Rātana next week to celebrate the birthday of Tahupōtiki Wiremu Ratana.

Reporter: Heeni Brown.