In the past Maori and Mana Party candidates have argued that giving them electorate votes gets voters "two for one": a Maori Party or Mana MP in the electorate, and a Labour MP on the list. Now the Labour Party is countering that by announcing that all its candidates in Maori seats will be electorate only and will not be on the party list:
In a surprise move Labour's Maori seat MPs have opted to stand as electorate MPs only, and not go on the party list.
Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party was backing a request from its Maori electorate MPs in a move that was "a direct challenge by the Maori MPs to the Maori Party".
"We're confident our outstanding Maori electorate MPs will win their seats.
"We take nothing for granted and our MPs will be working hard to win the trust of voters. But we're very confident they'll make the case this coming election given the strength of our plans and Labour's record of delivering for Maori in government," he said in a statement.
Its a bold move, and it will be interesting to see whether it pays off. If it doesn't, it could be a disaster for Maori representation in Labour, and play directly into the Maori and Mana Party's hands.