Topic: Politics

National to entice Māori vote through Kahurangi Blue groups

By Talisa Kupenga

National Māori Development spokesman Nuk Korako says he plans to expand his Kahurangi Blue groups to entice the Māori vote and build more Māori engagement with the party.

"The role of the Kahurangi Blue partnership group was to actually engage with our people to build the Māori capability inside the National Party," says Korako.

The groups would be based within the regions.  The first and only group established in 2015 exists in Korako's own patch of Canterbury Westland.

Korako says "The next one we're looking to roll out is in the lower North Island...it's about relationships with us."

There was also noise earlier this week that National could contest the Māori seats.

National MP Jami-Lee Ross says, "There are a lot of good things we can talk to Māori about.  Do we have to do that by way of a Māori seat?  Not necessarily, but it's something we have to discuss".

Labour Associate Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson says its a waste of time.

"We know what their position has been on the Māori seats in the past. They don't support even having the Māori seats," says Jackson.

But that discussion was yet to happen with Simon Bridges saying it was not on the caucus agenda this week.

Korako says Nātional's seven Māori MPs make up thirteen percent of the National Party which is "very high". 

Labour MP Kiritapu Allan says, "I think that it's going to be a big struggle for that party to regain the hearts and minds, actually I'm not sure they ever held the hearts and minds of our people".

Korako is unclear on a deadline for the Kahurangi Blue groups roll-out but says he has his own ETA.