New Zealand's seven Māori seats were held by the Labour Party going into the 2020 election, but the Māori Party were committed to contesting each of them. While coming close in a number of the electorates, it appears only Waiariki will be in play.
In an extremely close race, the Māori Party's Rawiri Waititi currently leads the Labour Party's Tamati Coffey by a few hundred votes. The race is too close to call.
Coffey has held the seat since 2017 and a Māori Television Curia research poll in early October showed Coffey held a 12 point lead over the Māori Party's Rawiri Waititi. In one of the biggest upsets of the previous election, Coffey beat then-Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell for the seat. Before the election, Waititi said there's "a game on in Waiariki and the undecided vote will determine who represents Waiariki in Wellington". On election night, as Waititi watched the results coming in, he said "We knew it was gonna go down to the wire [...] And all we're doing is just putting Labour on notice for 2023. The waka is on the moana."
The Labour Party's Peeni Henare appears on track to hold the Tāmaki Makaurau electorate with a sizeable lead over Māori Party co-leader John Tamihere. Green Party co-leader co-leader Marama Davidson has fallen to a distant third place.
John Tamihere, the former Auckland mayoralty hopeful turned Māori Party co-leader, put his party's hopes of getting into Parliament on him winning the Tāmaki Makaurau seat. It is a seat he held almost two decades ago as a Labour MP and one the Māori Party has had success with in the past. On election night, Tamihere turned to Rawiri Waititi in the Waiariki electorate and said he was grateful that at least one of their seven candidates was determined to get the Māori Party back in Parliament.
Te Tai Hauāuru
Another close contest, but the Labour Party's Adrian Rurawhe looks set to hold off the Māori Party's Debbie Ngarewa-Packer to retain his seat in the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate.
Te Tai Hauāuru was earlier seen as the Māori Party's best chance of getting back into Parliament and the party was committed to winning the electorate back from Rurawhe, who has held the seat for two terms.
Te Tai Tokerau
A convincing win for the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Kelvin Davis.
This electorate was particularly interesting for one of its candidates: Advance New Zealand's controversial co-leader Billy Te Kahika. Advance NZ pinned its hopes on Te Kahika winning the electorate to get into Parliament. Nevertheless, Davis maintained a commanding lead and will retain the Te Tai Tokerau seat for a third term. Te Kahika fell to fourth place, behind the Māori Party's Mariameno Kapa-Kingi and the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party's Maki Herbert.
Te Tai Tonga
The Labour Party's Rino Tirikatene will remain the incumbent of the Te Tai Tonga electorate after a strong win. He has held the seat since 2011.
Another solid win for the Labour Party in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate with Nanaia Mahuta retaining the seat she's held since 2008.
Ikaroa-Rāwhiti will remain a Labour seat after a clear win for Meka Whaitiri, who has held the seat since the 2013 by-election.