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NEWSFLASH: Tariana Turia's Long Walk

Besieged Associate Maori Affairs Minister Tariana Turia will make an announcement about her political future at 3pm today.

This morning most newspapers are reporting that Ms Turia is expected to announce her intention to resign from Parliament and force a by-election in her Te Tai Hauauru Maori electorate.

Ms Turia has just told National Radio's nine to noon programme's Linda Clark that she will be talking to her family this morning about her political future. She made it clear that resigning from Parliament was a live option.

Ms Turia also said she was never inclined personally to consider the option outlined by the Prime Minister on Tuesday of simply staying away from the vote on the Seabed and Foreshore Bill.

On Tuesday the Labour Caucus gave Ms Turia and fellow Maori MP Nania Mahuta permission to cross the floor and vote against the bill. Ms Mahuta has since announced that she will be voting against the bill.

The bill itself is assured of passage thanks to support from New Zealand First's 13 MPs.

Ms Turia said she will notify her intentions to the Prime Minister before making an announcement to the press at 3pm.

Meanwhile The Seabed and Foreshore Hikoi is due to arrive in Wellington next Wednesday and there is strong speculation that the launch of new Maori Party will take place on the steps of Parliament.

Ms Turia's National Radio interview will be available shortly via the Xtra website.

Watch Scoop's Parliament wire for breaking news and political reaction.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/news/parliament.html

(continuing…)

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