By Eruera Rerekura – | @erurerekura

National gives nod to Māori Party, ACT and United Future

National has confirmed its preferred support partners.

Prime Minister Bill English issued instructions to supporters to help ACT, United Future and the Māori Party retain their electorate seats.

But while National’s advice seemed clear Te Karere wanted to get a better understanding of how Labour and Greens, who have signed an agreement together, wanted Māori roll voters to act.

Mr English told reporters on Wednesday about who he wants in his government if his party wins the general election on September 23.

“National’s preference is to after this election be working with our current partners – the ACT party, United Future and the Māori Party.”

And Mr English instructed voters living in the ACT seat of Epsom and the United Future seat of Ōhariu electorates to give their candidate votes to ACT leader David Seymour and United Future leader Peter Dunne.

But Green party co-leader Metiria Turei didn’t agree with Mr English telling voters what to do.

“You don’t issue instructions to voters – you ask voters to support your policy and your programme.”

Although Ms Turei is standing in the southern Māori seat of Te Tai Tonga, she encouraged Māori roll voters to give the Greens their party vote.

“We have agreed with Labour that we have both committed to changing the government and we know that we can work with other people to do that. New Zealand First is one, the Māori Party is another – even Peter Dunne has suggested he could work with Labour and the Greens.

National has issued instructions to voters; the Green party is asking people to give us their party vote.”

English endorses Māori Party vote

Bill English said the same strategy he was supporting for ACT and United Future to retain their electorate seats was also the same for the Māori Party.

“We’d certainly be encouraging voters on the Māori roll to vote for the Māori Party. That’s a much smarter thing to do than to vote Labour or the Greens.”

But Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis warned Māori roll voters that a vote for the Māori Party was a vote for National.

“Mehemea ka pōti te iwi Māori mō te Pāti Māori kei hoki mai te kāwanatanga o Nahinara. Ko tō mātou hiahia kia tahuringia tēnei kāwanatanga kia tū ko Andrew Little hei pirimia o te motu, mōku te tūranga o te Minita mō Ngā Whare Herehere.”

The Māori Party said it preferred to be in a support agreement with the government of the day rather than sit in opposition.