'Coat tailing' rule to be debated in Parliament tomorrow

By Maiki Sherman
  • Wellington

The "coat-tailing" rule will be debated in Parliament tomorrow with the introduction of a Bill by the Labour Party's Iain Lees-Galloway.  So, what do Māori MPs think of it? 

If it weren't for the coat tail rule, Marama Fox wouldn't be in Parliament.

Māori Party MP Marama Fox says, "If this provision is taken away then we won't have smaller parties bringing others in that provide a broader representation of the views and beliefs of the public.  Like yourself?  Like me."

Kelvin Davis says that's not right.

"If the Māori Party received 4% of the party vote then I believe they deserve to have another MP, but given their support was so minimal then I believe they only deserve the seats they win outright," he says.

Hone Harawira attempted to use the rule to bring in the Internet Party via the Te Tai Tokerau seat.  His victor, the current MP, says therein lies the concern.

As well as getting rid of coat-tailing, the bill also looks to decrease the party vote threshold from 5% to 4%.

The bill will be debated tomorrow, however, given coat-tailing has been beneficial for National, Act, and United Future, the outlook doesn't seem promising.