Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri says National will "come under huge scrutiny" for its plan to stand candidates in Māori seats next election.
National party leader Judith Collins announced on Monday that National will work towards standing candidates in Māori electorates next election, saying National had been absent from the contest for the seats "for too long".
It was not specified if all seven seats would have a National candidate standing.
Whaitiri said while the announcement doesn't faze or surprise her, she has "probably the same reaction Māori constituents will have" which is "a bit of scepticism behind the rationale for them to stand given that they've always stood for the abolition of Māori seats".
National last stood for the seats in 2002. In 2003 under then-leader Don Brash the party wanted to abolish Māori seats with Brash describing them as an "anachronism".
Whaitiri said the announcement meant "they are declaring that they are taking the Māori constituency very seriously, which isn't reflected in their line-up at the moment".
"If they can put their best foot forward and show they've genuinely taken the Māori vote for the seriousness in which anyone who represents them should take it, then we welcome that.
"Whether National are prepared to put all their past rhetoric around the roles of Māori seats to the side and run it on a campaign will be yet to [be seen]."
Collins said National is a party "for all New Zealanders".
"At the core of this is giving every New Zealander a voice in Parliament – making sure their interests and aspirations are at the heart of every political decision we make.
"With this in mind, the National Party believes we should be doing everything possible to represent every New Zealander, and will work towards having candidates in as many of the Māori seats as possible going forward."
When asked who she thought National may stand in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Whaitiri said only National could announce that but "clearly they'll want to take out what they perceive as the weak seats held by Labour".
She said they will do analysis like all political parties do through polling to see where the vulnerable seats are, but they still have to come up with policies addressing issues such as the disproportionate number of Māori in prisons, health statistics and unemployment.
"More importantly [they've] got to have candidates that do have strong standings in Māori communities, amongst iwi.
"And these Māori electorates aren't tiny, these electorates transcend several iwi and multiple councils so it's got to be someone who is represented from the northern part of the electorate to the southern end to the central part."
Whaitiri said having sat on select committees with various National MPs "they have quite distinct views of the Treaty partnership".
"You see that come out time and time again debating in the House or when you're scrutinising certain legislation that has a huge impact on Māori - that's where you see National's true colours and not all of them are on the same page.
"Announcing it is one thing. Getting the house in order so that you're a genuine contender is another."