Maori Party surges into potential Kingmaker position in latest poll

There has been a surge in support for the Maori Party in our latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Political poll, with the Party up three percentage points to four per cent.

That's its highest ranking since 2008.

There's little change for the major parties though with National steady this month on 46, Labour also unchanged on 30 and the Greens holding their ground on 11 per cent.

New Zealand First has however slipped three per cent to eight per cent this month.

None of the other minor parties have made it to one per cent. However Gareth Morgan's The Opportunities Party, has made its first appearance in the 1 NEWS poll, at 0.4 per cent.

The surge in support for the Maori Party comes after it secured a peace deal with Hone Harawira's Mana party and won the backing of the Maori King in the Hauraki Waikato electorate.

Co leader Te Ururoa Flavell says he believes the rise in support is a sign that Kiwis are becoming more aware of the party's "pragmatic" approach to politics.

According to tonight's poll on four per cent the Maori Party would have five MPs in Parliament and that could potentially see them holding a King maker role after the election.

National for example would be able to form a government on this poll result using its just existing support partners of Act, United Future and the Maori Party. It would not need New Zealand First.

Labour and Greens on the other hand could form a government with the Maori Party's support but would also need the support of New Zealand First as well.

Meanwhile in the preferred Prime Minister stakes Bill English has taken a hit this month down from 31 to 25 per cent.

In second equal place at nine per cent are Winston Peters up one and Labour's new deputy leader Jacinda Ardern who's up five per cent this month also nine per cent.

Andrew Little is back at seven per cent.

Meanwhile tonight's poll also asked whether people oppose or support the Government's proposal to hike the age of Superannuation eligibility to 67 in 20 years.

Fifty per cent support the move and 40 per cent oppose it and eight per cent don't know.

The Poll was taken between the 18th and 22nd of March. It surveyed just over 1000 voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent.

1 NEWS Colmar Brunton political poll shows the Maori Party recording its highest result in 11 years. Source: 1 NEWS

Person freed after tree falls on car in Hawkes Bay

One person has been freed after they were trapped in a vehicle after a tree toppled onto a car in the Hawkes Bay.

Emergency services were called to the scene on SH2 in Morere at around 5:30.

A St John spokesperson said one person had been removed from the vehicle.

Two people were moderately injured in the accident.

Police car
Police car Source: 1 NEWS



Watch: Kiwi mural artist Mr G with his biggest challenge yet - painting a face on a cliff

Kiwi mural artist Graham Hoete has taken on his most daring project yet by spray-painting a portrait on cliff face at a Parawera farmland, near Te Awamutu. 

Mr Hoete, better known by the moniker Mr G, will be painting the portraits nationwide as part of the book he's putting together titled Mr G 100 New Zealand Portraits. 

"This was by far the most challenging piece I've painted to date without the aid of any scissor lifts," he said in a Facebook post

"The terrain at the base of the cliff face was dangerously uneven and this was all painted by eye." 

Mr G told 1 NEWS NOW the portrait is of a respected tupuna (ancestor) of the Ngati Raukawa iwi from the area. 

He will not reveal the name until the portrait is completed in approximately two week's time and presented to the representative from the iwi. 

"My aim with this project is to show the special union and relationship Maori have to the land," he said. 

Mr G became well known as an artist after his murals of Prince in Minnesota and Steven Adams in Oklahoma went viral online.