Willie Jackson has dumped the Maori Party and is set to announce he is standing for Labour instead.

The Maori broadcaster and former Alliance MP was considering standing for the Maori Party in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate, but sources said he had since been approached by Labour and now planned to stand on the list for them instead.

It is expected to be announced by Jackson at Waitangi this weekend - where the Maori Party and Mana are also expected to announce the final outcome of their arrangement in the Maori seats.

Jackson is yet to respond to a request for comment.

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It is understood Jackson had met with Labour leader Andrew Little and believes he will secure a high list ranking to secure his return to Parliament.

Jackson is a close friend of Little's advisor Matt McCartern.

It comes as Labour and the Maori Party prepare to fight it out in the Maori seats.

New Maori Party President Tukoroirangi Morgan has been wooing high profile Maori as candidates to try to win back some of the Maori seats, although so far only Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Howie Tamati have been selected as candidates in Waiariki and Te Tai Hauauru respectively.

It is a strategic poaching by Labour - the Maori Party had hoped Jackson's profile would help them win back the Auckland-based Tamaki Makaurau electorate which was won by Labour's Peeni Henare in 2014 after nine years as former Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples' seat.

Jackson was a former Alliance colleague of Laila Harre who has now also joined Labour, but does not intend to run for Parliament this year.

ROTORUA DAILY POST
2 Feb, 2017 6:00am
4 minutes to read