Majority of New Zealanders want to retain the Maori seats - 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll

Most New Zealanders want to keep the Maori seats in Parliament, according to the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll.

A recent 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll shows 55 per cent of Kiwis want the seats kept. Source: 1 NEWS

The poll tested opinion after Winston Peters announced three weeks ago that a referendum on the Maori seats was a bottom line for New Zealand First support after the election.

The poll asked Kiwis what their view was on the Maori seats.

Fifty-five per cent say they should be kept, 13 per cent say they should be abolished as soon as possible and 23 per cent say they should be abolished some time in the future. 

Maori Party co leader Te Ururoa Flavell says he's "pretty buoyed" by those results.

"I think that endorses the notion that New Zealanders see some value in those seats, number one, and rejects the notion that has been promulgated by Mr Peters," he said.

But Mr Peters is undeterred, saying: "The MMP promise was that in time it would demonstrate there was no need for Maori seats. And today we've got 24 per cent."

While the new Labour leader, Jacinda Ardern, is hogging the headlines for now, polls still show it's Mr Peters who's the likely king or queen maker come September 24. 

"We've always said our preference is current coalition partners. We don't rule out New Zealand First," said Prime Minister Bill English. 

Ms Ardern said: "We've got seven weeks to go and I think anything at this stage could happen."