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Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples maintains John Key told him Maori seats would not be abolished if National went into government with the Maori Party, despite Key's denials on a TVNZ leaders debate last night.
Mr Key was asked yesterday whether he had told Mr Sharples privately he would drop National's policy of abolishing the seats sometime after 2014 as the price of Maori party support, and said Mr Sharples was "wrong."
However Mr Sharples will claim tonight on an Alt TV minor parties debate: "I was not wrong."
Mr Sharples said he had explained his bottom lines to Mr Key, who had agreed with them.
The debate will screen at 8.30 pm tonight on Alt TV.
Alt TV said it was hosting the debate – featuring Mr Sharples, Greens co-leader Russel Norman, Act leader Rodney Hide and Progressives deputy Matt Robson – as a "right of reply" to yesterday's TVNZ leader's debate between Mr Key and Helen Clark.