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Tariana Turia not intending to resign

Tariana Turia not intending to resign

Tariana Turia says she remains committed to representing her constituents as best she can, and that is what they have asked her to do.

In a speech to the Labour Party regional conference this morning, Mrs Turia told delegates that the last three months had been difficult for her, and she had considered resigning, because of widespread opposition among tangata whenua to the government’s proposals to override due legal process for deciding ownership and control of seabed and foreshore.

However Mrs Turia says she has no intention at present of resigning from either the party, from her Ministerial portfolios or from Parliament.

“I spoke frankly to my party colleagues, because they need to know the strength of our peoples’ opposition to the current proposals. I told them that not a single iwi in my electorate is not opposed, and that the national hui on Saturday called for all of Labour’s Maori MPs to cross the floor and vote against the introduction of the Bill. The people at the hui were literally horrified, not just at the loss of rights, but because the proposals for legislation deny them the fundamental democratic right of access to the courts to settle disputes. I told my colleagues this policy could cost them the Maori vote.

“People may have got the impression from what I said that I am intending to resign over this issue. However my position has not changed. I am committed to representing my constituents as best I can. For the present, that means working constructively within the Labour Party and the Government.

“Depending on how the proposals end up, I may have to consider other options at some future time, but that remains a purely hypothetical situation at this stage, and will depend on my constituency.

“The legislative process gives us time and opportunity to change the proposals, and I intend to make the most of them. I will make a final decision on the legislation when it is in its final form," Mrs Turia said.

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