Māori Party and TOP in talks ahead of 2020 election

TOP and the Māori Party could be allies in the next election, with talks in place over the possibility of working together.

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"We are entering into a conversation to see what are the fruits of working together,” said Maori Party president Che Wilson. Source: Te Karere

It comes after Māori Party president Che Wilson told Ratana church leaders there was an aim to collaborate with TOP.

"We are entering into a conversation to see what are the fruits of working together," he said.

"At the moment it’s a pretty blank sheet, we will work through different options and we will be doing that over the next couple of months. We’re not going to rush into anything."

He would not rule out a united party, "but it's definitely not a priority".

Mr Wilson said the issue would be discussed with membership first.

Geoff Simmons, leader of TOP, told TVNZ1’s Te Karere it could be an opportunity for both parties, which he had "an awful lot in common".

"We had a good friendship that we managed to develop during the 2017 campaign and we’re definitely looking to build on that any way we can.

"We both have a big focus on kaitiaki [guardianship], that's a lot more practical, environmental stance than we see from the likes of the Green Party. We’re both taking a long term view on the important issues, things like housing and inequality."

Mr Simmons said TOP was prepared to work with either National or Labour.

"We’re not bothered with all the kerfuffle over left versus right and red versus blue and all the tribalism that comes with politics."