'All steam and no hangi' rival says as Maori Party and One Pacific strike election deal


The Maori Party today ratified a deal with One Pacific that it hopes will broaden its support base - but its Labour rival says it's "all steam and no hangi".

The party has made a deal with a fledgling Pacific political group.
Source: 1 NEWS

The two groups met today in Auckland and signed a deal in which the Maori Party will give nine list places to One Pacific.

Speaking before the event, party president Tuku Morgan said the events of the so-called Dawn Raids of the 1970s still lingered in Pacific communities.

He said today's deal is "part of our strategy to increase in a significant way the party vote".

Mr Morgan said while Pacific people had traditionally voted Labour, the Maori Party would be targeting the vote based on shared values, whakapapa and history.

One Pacific co-leader Dr Joe Williams admitted that the deal was very good for them.

"We wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting one member of parliament in and the only way was to go with the Maori Party," Dr Williams said.

"When we mobilise these churches and these organisations we're going to drag them away from the Labour Party ... with God's help and blessings we can do it."

However, Labour's Kelvin Davis says the Maori Party has simply been forced to switch strategies because Tuku Morgan couldn't attract enough high-profile candidates.

"He's all steam and no hangi eh... it's a lot of talk, when they make their announcements, there's a whole heap of adrenaline and you like to think they're going to move the world and then the reality is a big fizzer," Mr Davis said.

The party unsuccessfully chased broadcaster Willie Jackson, who flirted with the idea before going to Labour. They also sought to attract TVNZ's Te Karere presenter Scotty Morrison and Ngai Tahu's Sir Mark Solomon.

"Thank god we didn't get Willy," Mr Morgan said, "I still believe we've got the winning formula".

The party has secured former league international Howie Tamati, former broadcaster Shane Taurima and King Tuheitia's pick Rahui Papa.

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