The National Party is open to working with the Maori Party should it get back into parliament but the Maori Party would prefer to go left:
National Party leader Simon Bridges has talked about a resurgent Māori Party as a potential ally, but it may not have a willing partner, with the Māori Party President Che Wilson indicating a strong preference for Labour.
“We’re clear that our people align more to Labour and so we are open to having a conversation with Labour.
“If we ever do talk to National it will have to be a big deal for us to move that way again,” Wilson said.
“The perception and reputation by aligning with National affected us.”
“It kicked us out and so it would have to be a pretty impressive package for us to consider it,” he said. . .
It kicked us out? That is rewriting history.
Then Labour leader Helen Clark referred to the Maori Party as the last cab off the rank but National invited it into coalition when it got into government in 2008 even though National didn’t need the support.
National continued to coalesce with the Maori Party even though it voted against the government considerably more often than it voted with it.
Furthermore National didn’t stand candidates in Maori seats whereas Labour did. In the last election Labour won all of them and, since the Maori Party didn’t get 5% of the vote, it was Labour that kicked them out of parliament.
By stating its preference for Labour the Maori Party is staking its ground to the left with NZ First and the Green Party, reducing its leverage should it get back into parliament.
It is also proving there is no one Maori voice.
Should National be in a position to lead the next government both the Prime Minister and deputy will be Maori, but the Maori Party’s preference for Labour shows those Maori voices don’t count for them.