TVNZ has accepted comments by broadcaster Mike Hosking about the Maori Party were inaccurate - with a correction set to be made on tonight's Seven Sharp.

That hasn't appeased Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, who says the damage has been done.

"You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. There will be some who watched last night's show, who don't watch it tonight," Flavell said.

"The information Mr Hosking gave out last night was misleading and irresponsible. He should do his homework ... he is just plain incompetent - pure and simple."

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. Photo / Duncan Brown
Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. Photo / Duncan Brown

Last night Hosking and his Seven Sharp co-presenter Toni Street were talking about the VoteCompass online tool, when Hosking said "you can't vote for the Maori Party because you're not enrolled on the Maori electorate".

That is incorrect - every voter, regardless of what electoral roll they are on, has the same list of political parties to choose from when using their party vote.

A spokeswoman for TVNZ said it accepted Hosking's comments were inaccurate.

"We will make a clarification on tonight's show to clear up any confusion. We advised the Maori Party that we would be setting the record straight on tonight's show a couple of hours before they issued their media release."

In that release, Flavell questioned the choice of Hosking to host three upcoming debates in the run-in to the September 23 election.

Those will include two leaders' debates on August 31 and September 20 with Bill English and Jacinda Ardern, and a multi-party debate with other party leaders on September 8.

Winston Peters has taken issue with Hosking hosting the election debates. Photo / John Borren
Winston Peters has taken issue with Hosking hosting the election debates. Photo / John Borren

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has also criticised the selection of Hosking as host, saying he is right-leaning and a "wholly unsuitable" host.

Peters also criticised the decision to hold two leaders' debates with Labour and National, relegating other parties to another debate. Peters said under MMP neither National or Labour could govern alone, and it was no longer first past the post.


The New Zealand First leader has declined an invitation to participate in The Nation's debate this Saturday. It will feature Greens leader James Shaw, Act leader David Seymour, Mana leader Hone Harawira and The Opportunities Party (TOP) leader Gareth Morgan.

Peters told the Herald that decision came after an earlier plan for a Newshub debate featuring all parties over the 5 per cent threshold fell through because National refused to take part.

"I am continuing my campaign this weekend in the North rather than spending three-quarters of the day travelling to Auckland and back, particularly since Labour and National are not turning up.

"Mr English is clearly shying away from confronting us head-on as much as possible. Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse refused to debate me on immigration one-to-one on TV3, not once but twice."

Maori Television hosted the first pre-election debate last night, featuring Flavell, Shaw, Harawira, Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis and Morgan. The broadcaster said Peters had agreed to participate, but pulled out when he learnt it would mean sharing a stage with Morgan.

In January Morgan and Peters traded insults at Ratana Pa, after Morgan implored Ratana members to call out Peters for his views on the Treaty of Waitangi, describing Peters as "nothing more than an Uncle Tom".

Peters described being on the end of those insults as being "ravaged by a toothless sheep", and said Morgan was another rich man trying to enter politics, describing him as "a thinned-out version of Kim Dotcom".