Fresh off using his platform at this week's Rātana celebrations to criticise the government's approach to co-governance with Māori, National Party leader Christopher Luxon is taking aim at Parliament's Māori seats.
But despite saying their existence "doesn't make a lot of sense", National will still be looking at standing candidates in "at least one or two of them".
At Rātana on Tuesday, Luxon - who began his speech in te reo Māori, making use of lessons he started in 2022 - accused the government of allowing a "divisive and immature" debate to develop around its plans for co-governance in areas like water management and the delivery of health services.
The government's view has been that it is fulfilling obligations to Māori under the Treaty, and hoping to improve outcomes. Incoming Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on Tuesday pointed to various Treaty deals struck by previous National-led governments as containing examples of co-governance, asking which Luxon would "go back on" if elected in October.