“It is now confirmed that the Maori Party will compete with me in seeking a mandate from the voters in Tai Tokerau. Whilst I am disappointed that the Maori Party have breached the agreement not to stand a candidate against me I acknowledge that they have a right to do so,” said Hone Harawira, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau and leader of the new MANA Movement.
“Despite massive pressure by many people to put candidates up against the Maori Party MPs I have resisted the temptation because I believe it is important to stand behind a promise you make. Mana accepts that the agreement is effectively redundant because of the Maori Party’s actions. Whether Mana will now offer a strong candidate in every Maori electorate at the general election will be a matter we will determine after the by-election.”
“However I look forward to the by-election and the opportunity to debate the issues, and to highlight the differences between MANA and the Maori Party, and between the principles I have always stood for.”
“The voters of Te Tai Tokerau have two clear choices; an un-named candidate whose party is happy to join Don Brash, or a candidate who has already stood up to Brash and has always shown a commitment to Maori rights.
“I look forward to seeing what choice the voters of Te Tai Tokerau make.”