Hone Harawira threw down a gauntlet when he announced he’s resigning to force a by-election in te Tai Tokerau and the Maori Party has picked it up:
On Saturday, Mr Harawira announced the formation of his new left wing party, the Mana Party, and also that he plans to force a by-election in his Te Tai Tokerau electorate.
Maori Party president Pem Bird says he and other party members were shocked by the by-election announcement.
He says a Sunday night meeting of the party’s council will determine whether it will stand a candidate in Te Tai Tokerau electorate.
It was always an uneasy truce between Harawira and his former party and this signals an end to it.
If the Maori Party does stand a candidate it could split the vote and let the Labour one through the middle. But if it doesn’t stand a candidate most of those who don’t support Harawira are more likely to vote Labour.