The Maori Party is warning its supporters that Labour Party loyalists are once again promoting the argument that a vote for the Maori Party is a vote for National.
“It’s as predictable as Winston pressing the immigration panic button when he’s in trouble,” said Tariana Turia.
“This election, it seems Labour-affiliated unions are being used once again to front Labour’s scare campaign,” said Mrs Turia.
“The Maori Party has said we are talking to all parties, and we will continue to talk to all parties after the election.
“We have said we will work with anyone to advance the interests of our supporters. They expect us to do the best we can for them, whoever leads the next government.
“Some Labour-affiliated union leaders are insisting that this means the Maori Party is planning to go into coalition with National. They ask what are the Maori Party’s true colours.
“Workers should question the motives of people who say a vote for the Maori Party is a vote for someone else,” said Mrs Turia. “The truth is, a vote for the Maori Party is a vote for an independent Maori voice in Parliament. A vote for the Maori Party is a vote for the Maori Party, nothing more nothing less.
“Our true colours are red, white and black. Our colours are Maori,” she said.
“We do know that the Labour Party is a power base for some union leaders. Rank and file Maori worker support for the Maori Party is a threat to that powerbase.
“We encourage workers to ask themselves: Is your union selling out by talking with your employers? Or is it the union’s job to negotiate the best deal it can for you?
“The decision on who will lead the next government will be made on election day. That is up to the voters.
“We have made a commitment to return to our constituents to discuss options and seek guidance before we sign off on any deal – as we did in 2005,” said Mrs Turia.
“In the meantime, we are campaigning hard for two ticks, so we have the maximum bargaining power for our people after the election – whatever the outcome.”