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Hide : Maori Party A Party For All New Zealanders

Hide: Onetime 'Repugnant' Maori Party Now Achieving Its Aim Of Being A 'Party For All New Zealanders.'

ACT Leader Rodney Hide

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Today on Auckland's BFM ACT leader Rodney Hide attempted to explain to The Wire host Noelle McCarthy why Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia was invited to appear at ACT's conference. Only a few months before Ms Turia's ACT conference speaking engagement Mr Hide had described her party's policies as 'repugnant' and compared the Maori Party to the far right National Front.

Listen to BFM's Noelle McCarthy interview Rodney Hide about his new-found admiration for the Maori Party

Scoop Audio. Streaming Audio: BFM interview with Rodney Hide 28/03/06

Clickhere to download file (mp3)

Mr Hide admitted to BFM listeners that while he had indeed made a speech comparing the Maori Party to the National Front he now considered the Maori Party was achieving its aim of being a 'party for all New Zealanders.' Mr Hide believed it was Tariana Turia that had assisted in moderating more extreme elements in the Maori Party.

"[The Maori Party] are certainly now not just advocating on a race based basis and I find that very pleasing," Mr Hide informed Ms McCarthy.

After Ms Turia's appearance at the ACT conference Mr Hide wrote out on his well read weblog that "it's important to reach out to other parties: the Maori Party’s views on Welfare, Education and Health are very similar to ACT’s.

However, just prior to Christmas, the man who over the weekend became ACT's new vice president - Trevor Loudon - wrote on his weblog New Zeal an article entitled 'Mrs Turia Wants Return to Medical Apartheid'. In his article Mr Loudon slammed Ms Turia's evident desire for the Labour government to reinstate medical scholarships for Maori and Pacific Island students.

"If my family is being treated by a GP, I want the most skilled person available. I do not [want] some second grader, who scraped into med school because their ancestors came from a certain location," wrote Mr Loudon.

Mr Loudon's advice to Ms Turia was to concentrate on freeing up "primary and secondary education" rather than "imposing Apartheid like quotas on medical schools."

ENDS

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