Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi has a message - not phone or a text - to National Party leader Chris Luxon. If Te Pāti Māori are in a kingmaker position on election night, “don’t wait by the phone”.
Last week Luxon ruled out Te Pāti Māori as a partner in any National-led coalition government in 2023. That leaves National hooking up with Act and New Zealand First, should Winston Peters have enough magic dust to sprinkle on his potential voter base, who deserted him in 2020.
Today, Waititi did the reverse to Luxon, saying he would rule him out as a potential partner in any Te Pāti Māori-involved coalition government.
Waititi said Luxon’s explanation that National believes in one person, one vote shows he needs a civics lesson, because under MMP everyone had two votes, and in local body elections people can vote in multiple places if they are ratepayers.
Waititi said that’s because rich Pākehā who have multiple addresses can select where they vote and Luxon’s decision to call out Te Pāti Māori was dog-whistle politics.
“It’s okay for rich Pākehā to have more than one vote but he says for Māori, you have one vote. That’s dog-whistling politics and I tell you what, Christopher Luxon, I will not be ringing you on October 15 when Te Pāti Māori is in a position to decide who the government is,” Waititi told Waatea News.Com.
Te Pāti Māori president John Tamihere last week said Luxon’s decision was scaremongering and, come October, if Te Pāti Māori held the balance of power, the National leader would call.
Tamihere believed the National Party was using scaremongering tactics.
“What they’re trying to do is scare people into thinking if the hories get anywhere near the power, we’ve got problems and that’s just so untrue and it licences people just to keep attacking us as they do,” Tamihere said.
He was confident the National leader’s tune would change if circumstances dictated.
“I guarantee you, on October 15, if the Māori Party hold balance of power, Mr Luxon will be calling.”
“He wants to be the Prime Minister as much as anyone.”