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Author of Maori Sovereignty To Leave Parliament

Author of Maori Sovereignty To Leave Parliament

18 November 2004

‘It is ironic that twenty years ago, Donna Awatere, revolutionised Maoridom with her book, Maori Sovereignty, and today our sovereignty as a people has been brutalised by the Foreshore and Seabed Bill’ said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.

“As the Bill entered its final reading in the House, the final outcome of the ACT Party’s vendetta against Donna Awatere-Huata was being delivered’.

“Our people will make the connection between the travesty of justice that has occurred with the passing of the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, and the political injustice that has been created with the decision passed down by the Supreme Court” said Mrs Turia today.

‘Donna Awatere-Huata didn’t leave the ACT Party. The ACT Party left Donna Awatere-Huata. And then, they complained about their proportionality being affected’.

“I am incredulous that the seat of a politician of such standing has been made vacant over a minor technicality’ said Mrs Turia.

‘In the end, what the decision came down to was a matter of subscription fees not being paid. The irony of this was that it was the ACT Party who chose to suspend and ostracise her, and find her guilty before the Court process would be completed regarding allegations against her”.

‘Parliament has an appropriate process for considering such issues as this in the form of the Privileges Committee. Instead, the ACT Party preferred a judicial process’.

“Donna has made a huge contribution with her commitment to education and in particular literacy. I recall her programme, the Otara Four Minute reading Programme, which not only addressed issues of literacy for the whole family, but gave valuable parenting skills to families who participated’.

‘I have always been impressed by Donna’s performance in the House, as an articulate and highly intelligent debater. We cannot afford to lose any Member of Parliament in this way, and for Maori people, we cannot afford to lose such a powerful advocate’ said Mrs Turia.


‘In terms of intellect, debating ability, and political nous, I have always been so proud that Donna joined the elite company of the Right Honourable Winston Peters and the Honourable John Tamihere. I, for one, will miss her. Given the number of phone calls that we have received tonight, so too, will many of our people’.

ENDS

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