Politics | Coalition

Te Pāti Māori has zero interest in parties wishing to 'undo policies that advance Māori' - Ngarewa-Packer

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Te Pāti Māori may take a different approach to coalition negotiations than it has in the past if it holds the balance of power after this year's election, says co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

Under previous leaders, the party has agreed traditional confidence and supply agreements but this time is keeping its options open.

"I think the leverage that we have so far, which is probably evident in the polls, we haven't made a choice of who we would go for, and deliberately, because we may not go into relationships like have been done in the past or which is known," Ngarewa-Packer told Q+A on Sunday.

"It's really important that we don't try and say, 'Hey, we're going to go with this one and that one', that we actually hold pono to our values and our kaupapa, and that we leverage power or influence as we think is best."

Ngarewa-Packer is adamant, however, that Te Pāti Māori will not enter into negotiations with parties that want to undo policies that advance Māori interests, such as such Te Aka Whai Ora — the Māori Health Authority, which National and ACT have strenuously opposed.

"I think the question has to be, has anything changed from them as far as a Tiriti-centric Aotearoa," Ngarewa-Packer told Q+A.

"There is no way that we would be able to be in a relationship with anyone that's opposed to any of the policies that are pretty much… undo every policy that advances Māori."