Hone Harawira's new Mana Party is lining up high profile candidates for the November general election and he says they will stand in Maori and general roll seats.

Mr Harawira, who formed Mana after quitting the Maori Party and winning a by-election, confirmed today all seven Maori seats would be contested, as well as some general roll seats.

"Mana will contest general seats, especially those in communities savaged by cuts in health, education and benefits because even the poor deserve a champion in Parliament," he said.

"We intend investing serious time and energy into pushing our policies into poor areas."

Advertisement

The party's co-vice presidents, John Minto and Annette Sykes, are in the running and broadcaster Willie Jackson is reported to be "seriously considering" standing for Mana.

Former Green Party MP Sue Bradford is expected to announce within days that she will contest Waitakere, going up against Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

"We will promote candidates chosen for their unremitting fight for justice, their track record in advocating for Maori issues, and their leadership in the struggle for human rights," Mr Harawira said.

"Some will be high profile, but as a collective they will give Mana a real chance of attracting a good percentage of the party vote -- if the poor voted for Mana we would half the seats in Parliament."

Mana will find it extremely difficult to win a general roll seat and its best chances will be in the Maori seats. Mr Harawira is expected to retain Te Tai Tokerau, the Maori Party currently holds four seats and Labour the other two.

If he keeps Te Tai Tokerau, the Mana party won't have to pass the 5 per cent threshold of the party vote to get more MPs into Parliament.

- NZPA