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Matariki Marks New Political Dawn for Maori

22 June 2005

Matariki Marks New Political Dawn for Maori

The Maori Party of Aotearoa gets its election campaign underway in Auckland this weekend, using the traditional Matariki celebrations to mark the occasion.

Matariki, the Maori New Year, marks the new planting season, drawing the people together to plan strategically for the work to be accomplished – “Matariki hunga nui.” It also marks the first birthday of the Maori Party. The event will be celebrated with food and festivities, with performances and contributions from many different cultures.

“Matariki is a time of celebrating new beginnings, of celebrating the relationships and the common unity which sustains and nurtures us,” says Maori Party co-leader and MP, Tariana Turia. “The overwhelming number people joining the Maori Party, over 18,000 to date and still rising, is a clear indication that a new political force has emerged.”

“As we launch the Maori Party’s election campaign it is fitting that we draw our people together to celebrate the successes of this first year,” adds co-leader Dr Pita Sharples. “We recognise the work and commitment of so many to a new Aotearoa which has propelled the Maori Party into life, and to celebrate the exciting future ahead of us all.”

The campaign launch and Matariki Celebrations 2005 will be held at the Telstra Pacific Arena, 770-834 Great South Road, Manukau, Sunday 26 June from 1.00 pm-6.00 pm.

Those taking part will represent many of the peoples who have made their home in Aotearoa and will include performers from the Cook Islands, Pubjabi dancers as well as Hip Hop performers and Kapa Haka groups.

The Maori Party has identified respect for diversity as one of its key strengths and this features strongly throughout the conference, with guests invited to bring kai to share as mark of mutual respect for all people attending.

Matt Te Pou, coach of the triumphant Maori rugby team, is keynote speaker for the conference.

ENDS

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