Wairiki MP Te Ururoa Flavell is no political novice but he is facing his first election as Maori Party co-leader. He discusses the party's record, its goals and its rivals in this Herald Hot Seat interview with NewstalkZB host Rachel Smalley, Herald columnists Fran O'Sullivan and Toby Manhire and political editor Audrey Young.

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell is well ahead of his chief rival Mana's Annette Sykes in the Waiariki electorate according to a new poll on Maori Television.

The Maori TV Reid Research poll on Te Kaea has Mr Flavell on 50 per cent support for the electorate vote while Ms Sykes is well behind on 21 per cent.

Of the other candidates in the seat, Labour's Rawiri Waititi was on 17 per cent in the poll, the Independent Coalition Party's Pat Spellman on 2 per cent and 10 per cent said they did not know or would not vote.

The two will square off in a debate on Native Affairs tonight at 8.30pm during which further poll results will be announced, including the party vote, coalition preferences and on the relationship between the Mana and Maori parties.


That result will disappoint Ms Sykes and Mana leader Hone Harawira, who believed they had a chance of taking the seat from Mr Flavell, who has held it for the Maori Party since 2005.

In the Mana Party's first election in 2011, the entry of Ms Sykes to the contest shrank Mr Flavell's majority to 1883 votes.

If the election day results are similar to the poll, Mr Flavell will have regained some ground -- he secured 41 per cent of the candidate vote in 2011 while Ms Sykes got 31 per cent.

The poll broadcast on Te Kaea is of 500 eligible Waiariki voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4.38 per cent.

"The Maori Party also scored fairly well in the party vote with 26 per cent but was still behind Labour on 35 per cent. Internet Mana was on 14 per cent, National 11 per cent, NZ First on 11 per cent and the Green Party on five per cent.

Two thirds of voters (66 per cent) said they believed the Maori and Mana parties should work together while 29 per cent did not. Just below two thirds of respondents also said they would prefer the Maori Party to go into coalition with Labour rather than National if they held the balance of power after the election, while 26 per cent opted for National over Labour. They are similar proportions to the Maori TV Reid Research poll on the Te Tai Hauauru electorate last week.

The top three issues were family violence, education and child poverty.