Shame over former Māori Party leader Marama Fox's debt will follow the party as it heads into next year's election, its president says.
Liquidators say they are searching for Fox, who they say now owes them more than $110,000 following the collapse of her consultancy business in 2018.
Fox last year told the Herald she was deeply apologetic to the businesses she owed money to and that she intended to pay her creditors back, "in no way" wanting to declare bankruptcy.
A report from liquidators Reynolds and Associates issued last week says Fox owes eight creditors $111,113 but that they were unable to locate and serve her with legal proceedings.
Requests for comment from Fox were not answered on Friday.
She stepped down as Māori Party leader in September 2018, but the party's president, Che Wilson, says it continued to try to help her.
"She has been a key part of the party, she has withdrawn from party, but we will have to have aroha and support her as well as supporting the [creditors]," Wilson said.
The party had encouraged its membership to send business to Rotorua travel agent Amy Turuta – one of the creditors, who was owed about $45,000, he said.
Turuta this week told Newsroom the sympathy she once had for Fox had run out.
Wilson said Fox's situation would be an issue the party could not disown as it looks to make a comeback in 2020.
"It's extremely sad. It's one of the things we will have to navigate throughout this whole time," he said.
"Whakamā goes broader than an individual."
Liquidators have said Fox's company was "undercapitalised from the outset".
"Contracts that the company had been working on failed to complete and as such it was unable to charge fees and commissions," their report said.
Fox lost her list seat in the 2017 election, with the Māori Party not returned to Parliament.
She was fined this year after pleading guilty to driving with excess breath alcohol and last year did a stint on dance competition television show Dancing with the Stars.