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Maori Party will win seat, poll suggests

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 05:00 02/09/2014

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The Maori Party's future is looking more secure, according to the results of a new poll in co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell's Waiariki electorate.

With the party performing poorly in all major political polls, well below the 5 per cent needed to enter Parliament without an electorate seat, its survival could rest on Flavell retaining the seat he has held since 2005.

Last night's Maori Television Reid Research Poll of 500 voters showed 50 per cent of respondents would vote for Flavell if the election were held now.

Internet-Mana's Annette Sykes, who was thought to be mounting a strong challenge in Waiariki, was well behind on 21 per cent, followed by Labour's Rawiri Waititi on 17 per cent. NZ Independent Coalition's Pat Spellman was on 2 per cent.

The Maori Party received just 0.7 per cent support in this month's stuff.co.nz-Ipsos political poll.

As with the same poll in Te Tai Tonga and Te Tai Hauauru, Labour polled the strongest on the party vote with 35 per cent support, followed in Waiariki by the Maori Party on 26 per cent, Internet-Mana on 14, National on 11, NZ First on 8 and the Greens on 5.

Labour was also again the party the voters wanted the Maori Party to work with - at 63 per cent to 26 per cent for National.

They also overwhelmingly wanted to see the Maori Party and Mana work together, though that is highly unlikely with Mana's refusal to work with National and the Maori Party maintaining its position that it would work with whichever party was in power to ensure it had influence.

Mana founder Hone Harawira famously forced a by-election in Te Tai Tokerau in 2011 when he walked out on the Maori Party, partly over its relationship with National.

This is the third poll aired by Native Affairs, with Labour's Rino Tirikatene the outright favourite in Te Tai Tonga and the Maori Party's Chris McKenzie just ahead in Te Tai Hauauru.

The poll, which was taken between July 23 and August 14, has a margin of error of 4.38 per cent. Fairfax NZ

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