National has a strong candidate in Mita Harris and Labour has
At the Otara flea market on Saturday, Labour had a big force
of supporters out in the anticipation that Miss Clark would
be attending. She did not, but Mr Robertson and
Tamaki-Makaurau candidate and list MP Louisa Wall were
prominent throughout the market.
On current polling, Ms Wall will not return to Parliament
from Labour's list and she is unlikely to unseat Maori Party
co-leader Pita Sharples, the Tamaki-Makaurau MP.
Dr Sharples said his message to Maori voters was that the
Maori Party was "their party", formed after a protest hikoi
marched on Parliament.
"This is their party and they should be investing in the
whole party by giving us the two ticks. Don't give your party
vote to the others, believe in the things that the Maori
Party is doing. If they vote for us, then that is the message
we can take to National and Labour after the election. The
Maori Party will be in a position of authority."
Dr Sharples' campaign manager, Chris Tooley, said 60% of Dr
Sharples' vote came from Otara, Mangere and Manurewa.
Although the party received votes in the centre of Auckland,
the main support was on the edges.
Dr Tooley said the results in Te Tai Tonga, Ikaroa-Rawhiti
and Hauraki-Waikato could come down to margins of around 1000
votes, which would prompt recounts.
"We don't expect to know the results on election night."
Ikaroa-Rawhiti is held by Maori Affairs Minister Parekura
Horomia and Hauraki-Waikato by Customs Minister Nanaia
Mahuta. Both are high enough on Labour's list to return to
Asked if the Maori Party was getting any pressure from voters
to support either Labour or National in forming a government
after the election, Dr Tooley said people seemed to be
favouring Labour, but the party was keeping its options open.
The Polynesian vote was harder to define during interviews
with candidates and supporters at five South Auckland
markets. However, there was a general trend against Labour,
the traditional home for Polynesian voters.