The rebel MP spoke out ' />
Hone Harawira says his party has no "game plan" to deal with the poverty that Maori in his electorate find themselves in.
The rebel MP spoke out yesterday while commenting on the results of a Weekend Herald poll that show he would trounce any official Maori Party candidate for his Te Tai Tokerau seat if he is expelled from the party.
The sampling of 70 voters on the Maori roll, interviewed on the streets and at marae throughout the sprawling electorate, found that 80 per cent oppose moves to expel him from the party.
As well, 37 per cent would vote for him if he was expelled and stood as an independent in the election.
Only 14 per cent would vote for a replacement Maori Party candidate; 16 per cent would support Labour candidate Kelvin Davis.
Another 3 per cent would vote for a National candidate, 3 per cent want to vote for Winston Peters even though he is unlikely to stand in the seat, and 6 per cent would vote for "anyone but Hone". The other 21 per cent are undecided.
The survey comes as Mr Harawira meets with his electorate this weekend about his disciplinary hearing.
The MP said the results showed a high level of support.
"I think most people still identify me as being the Maori Party candidate for Tai Tokerau."
His constituents identified the rising cost of living and unemployment as being issues that concerned them this election year.
Mr Harawira said those findings didn't surprise him. The rise in GST had hurt his constituents. "They're exactly the sorts of things I've been saying. Anti-beneficiary, anti-worker legislation ... that's absolutely devastating Maori communities. My colleagues are saying, 'Well, we do mention it', but that's all we do, we just mention it. But if you were to ask the question 'Do the Maori Party have a really strong game on these issues?' the answer would be no."
The Far North town of Kaikohe, which he drove through yesterday on his way to an electorate hui on his future, was a classic example of where Maori were suffering.
"I think we've been too quiet on the legislation which has really hurt our people," he said.
"We were honour-bound to support [the GST rise] because the Budget said so, but it didn't say we had to clam up about it. It didn't say we weren't allowed to talk to the unions, Labour, the Greens, and mount a campaign to really smash home how we felt about it."
The disciplinary committee's hearing is expected to continue early next week.