The first cracks are appearing in the agreement between Hone Harawira and the Maori Party not to stand against each other in electorates. The 3News report is fairly tentative:
Maori Party rules out contesting Harawira seat
The Maori Party is ruling out standing against Hone Harawira in his Te Tai Tokerau electorate – for now.
Maori Party stalwarts have been hunting for a candidate to contest Mr Harawira’s seat, which could breach a deal struck between the party and its former MP.
When Mr Harawira quit in February, the party agreed it would not stand against him for November’s election, and if he formed a new party, he said he would not challenge the Maori Party’s MPs. Maori Party president Pem Bird told NZPA party loyalists were looking for candidates as “to be expected”, but the decision was up to the party council. …
Mr Bird said the Maori Party would respect the agreement unless Mr Harawira breached it, though many have informally expressed concerns that he already has by speaking “disparagingly” about the party.
TVNZ makes a stronger case:
Harawira faces Far North challenge
Maori Party loyalists in the Far North are scouting for a candidate to stand against Hone Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau – a move that could spark all-out war between the two factions. …
Haami Piripi, a prominent Maori leader in the Far North, confirmed this morning that he had been approached about standing, but had declined. … He believed there was a ”strong contingent” within the Maori Party in the Far North that was looking for a candidate and who did not see the agreement with Harawira as a barrier. ”Every day’s a new day in politics.”
Mere Mangu, who stood as an independent in 2005, would not confirm or deny whether she was in talks to stand for the party. ”Everything’s up for consideration, isn’t it? Can we leave it at that?”
Party president Pem Bird said the agreement with Harawira would be reviewed at a national council meeting on April 16 following concerns he had breached an undertaking that the two sides not ”speak disparagingly” of each other by constantly criticising the party since he left. …
“Of course they’ll be talking about a candidate, and that’s their business. But whether the council will go along with it … because we’re bound by this agreement. But we can talk about it, we can evaluate that and see where we go from there.
No candidate can stand against Hone under the MP flag without the blessing of the Party. If the truce breaks and all out war ensues, it will be because the MP wants the fight. I would have thought they would have to be crazy to take that path. But the language that they’re using is surprisingly equivocal. “Every day’s a new day in politics”…