In what could be a further challenge to John Key’s parliamentary majority the Maori Party and the Mana Party have agreed to have discussions on areas where they can work together.
Two weeks ago Mana Party president Annette Sykes raised the possibility of reunification of the parties. She said that there was an underlying need for Mana and the Maori Party to secure an independent Maori voice for at the next election.
Ms Sykes said she hoped both the Maori Party leadership and its membership would think carefully about meeting with Mana to talk about collaborating.
The Maori Party has now responded. From the Maori Party press release:
The Maori Party has asked the Mana Party for a meeting to discuss how they can work together on a kaupapa-by-kaupapa or issue-by-issue basis.
“The Maori Party is firmly founded on kaupapa such as kotahitanga, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga – all which emphasize the importance of relationships with others through the expression of generosity and mutual respect. And the Mana Party is included in that,” said Maori Party president Rangimarie Naida Glavish.
“It is vital that we work with other parties to achieve the needs of our people and that’s why we’ve left ourselves open to working with whoever is in government at anytime be they blue or red, green or yellow.
“It makes sense to open discussions with the Mana Party on an issue-by-issue basis, but the question of merging with them looks very unlikely at this stage because of their position to only work with certain parties,which we think would be to the political detriment of our people.”
Is this evidence of a further crack in the Maori Party National Party relationship?