“Been a long time coming, but it’s what the people have been calling for” said Lisa McNab, MANA President about the agreement that will see MANA and the Maori Party carry a strong mandate to win all seven Maori seats.
“Standing against one another only lets the party that stole our foreshore and seabed, steal our seats as well. We have to be better than that. Those seats belong to the Maori people, not to anyone else”
“Tuku came north last year to talk about how we might work together to bring those seats back to the Maori world, and ever since there’s been a real buzz in the Maori electorates” said McNab “From the race at Karapiro where MANA MAORI beat Labour easily to the delight of the crowd, to our going on to Ratana together, our taking a common stand at Waitangi, and out on the streets and in the maraes – the support has been awesome”
“Today’s arrangement formalises all of that.
“It allows MANA to focus on Te Tai Tokerau at the 2017 General Election, a decision we’d actually made at our AGM last year.
“And it adds weight to the Maori Party’s decision to stand candidates in the other 6 Maori seats (Tamaki Makaurau, Hauraki-Waikato, Waiariki, Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Te Tai Hauauru, Te Tai Tonga), and we wish them all the best in their endeavours.
“Both parties have agreed to not stand candidates against one another.
“And both parties will be free to develop the policies they think best; to campaign for the party vote; and to criticise one another’s policies without attacking each other’s candidates.
“We’ve got a big job ahead of us” said McNab “Things are even tougher now for our people than they were when Hone left, so we take nothing for granted.
“Last night’s Colmar-Brunton poll showing MANA registering in the ratings even though we’re not even in parliament yet was a pleasant surprise and public confirmation that MANA is back in the game.”
“That poll, coupled with the enthusiasm of the people and Hone’s track record, means we’re feeling really positive about 2017”