Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson isn't showing any concerns for the government, despite trends in political polls showing Labour losing ground to National.
"We are not worried," he told teaomaori.news, "there are still 18 months before the general election. There's no need to panic.
"I haven't seen a poll that says National will be in government. And as we have found out, the Māori Party is the current kingmaker according to that poll. The polls are close between National and Labour. that's fine, we know it's close but we are not worried."
Three polls over the past three months show National has taken the lead from Labour in favourability but could struggle to form a government. However, all three polls also showed the Māori Party could hold the balance of power come the election next year.
Jackson says Labour wouldn't have a problem working with the Māori Party should that result eventuate.
'There have been times they've been blasted on Facebook, I've been criticised on Facebook, and so has my party, but it's all good, that's what politics is all about.
"At the end of the day we are all related. Rawiri [Waititi], Debbie [Ngarewa-Packer], and I are related. The Māori Party knows that we do push for Māori kaupapa policies. It'll be easy to work with the Māori Party."
Trespass notices a bad idea
Jackson is also seemingly disappointed at Speaker Trevor Mallard's decision earlier this week to issue trespass notices to former MPs including Winston Peters over their attendance at anti-mandate protests at Parliament in March.
Those notices have since been rescinded but Jackson said they were a bad idea, if no more than politically.
"Our Māori caucus doesn't agree with Mallard's decision. I know being the Speaker of the House can be tough but, for us, that issue is now sorted.
"We know that Peters is ecstatic because this has put him in the spotlight, and it works in his favour for a return to Parliament. We don't agree with the decision. However, it's done."