Maori MP Hone Harawira will kickstart his new party by forcing a byelection in his Te Tai Tokerau electorate.
Mr Harawira launched his new Mana Party in Auckland this afternoon.
He told a gathering of about 300 people that he had always believed he was accountable to the people of his electorate. He believed they should be able to have their say on his new party.
He will officially resign from Parliament by writing to the Speaker on Monday, setting in train the process for a byelection.
Mr Harawira also said the Maori Party president told him last night that it would not stand a candidate against him this year.
When Mr Harawira left the party in February, they had agreed not to stand against each other in the Maori electorates.
However there had been uncertainty about whether the agreement would hold.
Mr Harawira's decision to force a byelection just seven months before a general election is likely to be criticised. Labour leader Phil Goff has already said he would view it as a "publicity stunt" and said it would be irresponsible and costly.
Just for today, and just on this issue, we agree with Phil Goff. But here's what makes it worse. Hone Harawira is currently an independant MP. But he is going to seek a mandate from Te Tai Tokerau as a Mana Party MP. Are you getting the picture?
Yes, dear readers. Ol' Hone's got this sussed. He will return to Parliament as a party leader if he gets elected, with all that entails; including a leader's budget just like Peter Dunne and Jim Anderton get. Even though he will be a party of one, you and we, brethren taxpayers, will be digging just a little bit deeper to fund him.
So yes; we agree with Phil Goff that this IS a publicity stunt by Hone Harawira, that it is irresponsible and that it will be costly; the by-election itself will cost around $500,000. Hone Harawira has got a taste for life at the trough.