National | Dr. Pita Sharples

Paenga standing down will look bad for Māori Party

It does seem like the Māori Party are in dire straits.

This all starts following the latest Māori Television poll results that shows a 1% difference between Hone Harawira and Kelvin Davis, which could be a bad statistics for Hone. However the Māori Party are in a worse situation.

In addition, it seems this issue stems deeper than that.

We spoke with Te Hira Paenga today and he disclosed the workings of his campaign co-ordinator Peter Tashoff, as the executives of the party wants him to step aside.

Te Hira Paenga has just confirmed to Te Kāea the Māori party leadership team brought on controversial former Act Party candidate Peter Tashkoff to be the campaign coordinator for Te Tai Tokerau.

Paenga told us that he feels divided, uncomfortable and didn't want to work with him.

Peter Tashoff is a former Act Party candidate, and was expelled for bringing the ACT Party into disrepute and he was considered the coup leader behind getting rid of Rodney Hide.

Te Hira Paenga told us this afternoon that he didn't sit well with Tashoff, and he felt uncomfortable to be working with Tashoff.

It does seem like the party is divided. Some members of the Māori Party have expressed that the executive’s council of the party are on one side including Tariana Turia.

On the other side you have the family of Pita Sharples, as we know Te Hira Paenga is his son.

The question for Māori Party supporters is whether the executive's strategy sits well with them in terms of having Te Hira Paenga step aside in the race for the seat of Te Tai Tokerau, transferring his support to Kelvin Davis.

Time will tell as we head into the election this Saturday.