Mika Haka & Pita Paraone fire up over Māori seats

By Tepara Koti

New Zealand First candidate Pita Paraone and The Opportunities Party candidate Mika Haka butted heads in Māori Television's Election Aotearoa General / List Candidates Debate.

Presenter Oriini Kaipara posed the question to Pita Paraone whether he agreed with his party leader to abolish the Māori seats.  While Paraone was adamant that Winston Peters wants to have a referendum, which he said is different to abolishing the seats, Mika Haka quickly intervened saying, "It's exactly the same thing!"

Mika Haka said, "Our bottom line in The Opportunities Party is we will not negotiate with any party that wants to do any referendum or do anything to do with the Māori seats."

He went on to say, "Goodness gracious, you've got the language, got the water, got the land, what else do you want? Nope! Not happening."

Paraone came back on the attack, telling Mika Haka not to worry because after the Election, he "won't be there".  

Mika Haka quickly fired back with a "neither will you" comment.

Pita Paraone ended with his position, saying that Māori should determine what should be the future of the Māori seats.