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Maori Party could work with Nats or Labour - Harawira

Last updated 18:09 21/09/2008

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The Maori Party could work with both Labour and National in helping to form the next government says its MP Hone Harawira.

Mr Harawira told the Agenda programme on TVNZ this morning that the party had a number of options on how it could co-operate with the next government.

Depending on the election result it is possible that the party – which currently has four MPs in Parliament – could be the kingmaker.

Mr Harawira said the party would not declare its hand ahead of the vote and before speaking to its membership after election day.

"Our focus is on winning the seven Maori seats and maintaining the position that Maori have always wanted, which is an independent and strong Maori voice in Parliament," Mr Harawira said.

"Now regardless of whether it's Labour or National we want to be at the table."

Mr Harawira described Labour as stale and arrogant, citing the passage of the Electoral Finance Act as a government losing touch with reality.

He said it would be difficult working with National, but both of the major parties had little to offer Maori voters.

After the last election, its members had little interest in working with National, some interest in Labour, but the majority wanted the Maori Party to remain independent.

The party had "nutted out' what shape of arrangement it wanted with two options available, but Mr Harawira said he would not say what these were.

The top of the party's wish list was retention of the Maori electorate seats.

- NZPA

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