UPDATED 12.58pm Labour's Maori MPs will run only in their electorates and will not go on the party list, leader Andrew Little announced this afternoon.
The seven MPs had asked to be taken off the list and Little said he had backed the request.
"This is a statement of Labour's intent," Little said at a press conference this afternoon.
He said it was a "direct challenge" by his party's Maori MPs to the Maori Party.
Labour's Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis said it will mean Maori views are represented directly at Parliament, and eliminates the two-for-one deal seen at previous elections.
Davis said the request was because of strength, unity and confidence in the Maori caucus.
"We back ourselves to help Maori make progress on the problems they face in housing, health and education," he said.
While Nanaia Mahuta said Maori deserve more in 2017- and they want to assure Maori that when they vote for their representative, that person will be representing a strong, and real Maori voice at Parliament.