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Turia: Address to Matariki Launch 26 June 2005

26 June 2005

Address to Matariki Launch

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

This is the start of a new dawn in politics.

A dawning of our own potential to be who we are and retain who we are.

We have come to a point of no return. We will not put our faith in politicians who are chosen by the people but make decisions on party lines.

Your aspirations must make up our work programme. We have no business to be in parliament unless we truly respect the people’s voice.

Walking the talk. Taking a stand for your ideas.

Maranga mai e ngaa iwi Ki te kaupapa nui Kei a koe te tikanga

It is for that reason that from the very moment of election we will establish a parliamentary calendar where we come back to you at regular points.

Our parliament-a-rohe will ensure that all those in Aotearoa who seek to move this nation forward together are in the driving seat – not silent passengers or towed behind like a string of old tin cans, perceived as noisy, annoying and able to be discarded.

We must not have any free riders either.

This is about celebrating a new confidence in ourselves.

And look around –is there anyone here today who isn’t sensational, exceptional and worthy of wonder?

And what a spectacle of wonder we have to build on – the wonder of the Maori boy from Titahi Bay taking on the Tiger and winning;- the dynamic duo of Joanne Kumeroa and Tina Rimene who won individual and team wool-handling titles in Australia; the soft shoe shuffle of the former hooker; the enraptured victory of Maori rugby over the Lions, which we know will have boosted the confidence of the All-blacks last night! the ongoing success of the Maori women’s rugby team; the Ngapuhi legend, Ralph Norris, landing the plum job in the Commonwealth Bank; the stunning achievements of all those whom we celebrated at the Pacific Business Trust and Maori Business Developments award this weekend; and a list so full of stars that it might even outshine Matariki.

While not taking anything away from our stars, I want to thank everyone who has given so much, already, to this movement of change. Our list must take care of the diversity across our nation – in that way it is a collective statement of our dreams and aspirations – and it must represent all those at home as much as those on the stage.

We must never forget that we are people of the Pacific, joined to our whanaunga of Te Moana nui a Kiwa, by the waters of the Pacific oceans.

Six of our first forty candidates on the list are their shared whakapapa with Niue, Fiji, Samoan, Tongan and Cook Island heritage.

We must be of one mind – your progress, is our progress. As Pacific peoples we affirm the relationships we have through whakapapa. We are intimately connected and we must honour that connection in our tikanga, in our policies.

Our ethnic voices in Aotearoa are rarely celebrated.

Mainstream political parties have over time, offered little other than opportune comments on immigration – most of them negative.

We know that many of the kaupapa we hold dear to are shared with ethnic peoples, in our collective fight to reclaim and sustain our culture, traditions and wairua.

We support the call for a Ministry of Ethnic Affairs – rather than a desk in someone else’s department. It is a growing voice and an important voice that must be listened.

The revolution of this nation will be led by us all.

We are particularly proud of the contribution of rangatahi to the growth of this movement – and their voices are high on our list.

We see in rangatahi that world-winning entrepreneurial spirit that has been with us mai ra ano. We need to nurture that sense of adventure in daring to take a new step forward.

We are here to say today, that united we stand, to take that step forward to progress.

We celebrate here today that Te Tiriti o Waitangi is being enacted in everyday ways. So many of us have established our treaty relationships in the bedroom!

It is happening in the bedrooms as much as the boardrooms.

Many of us are of mixed parentage.

The changing face of Aotearoa is not to be feared.

Our list recognizes the diversity of our nation as our biggest strength. Our list includes the shared cultural strength brought by peoples of the land, of pakeha, of Chinese, of Pacific peoples, and far wider beyond to the rich cultural fabric of all who inhabit this land.

We are committed to common unity.

Our values, our beliefs and aspirations have a commonality which we can stand up for. We stand for principles, we stand for people.

Matariki is the time of new beginnings. A time to plant new ideas, to prepare for a period of seasonal change.

The change we are looking for is to look to ourselves, to bring Peace to the Nation.

We can achieve great things through respect, and aroha ki te tangata.

Our kaupapa and tikanga will drive our solutions. Making change is not about scoring points on an election popularity meter. Making a worm turn.

The change we desire is more fundamental than that.

We seek to truly commit ourselves to tangata whenua and to all those who call this land home.

We will go into Parliament with three simple aims: To care for ourselves - through whanau To care for each other – through Te Tiriti o Waitangi To care for our world – through the economy

We will care for ourselves in truly looking to nurture the very essence of all people who live in this land. To uplift ourselves and to believe that whanau are the source of all our solutions, not the test case for bureaucracy experiments.

We must give hope to our future.

It is our whanau who give us the belief that we can succeed. What other top international golfer would have their grandmother’s waiata to her grandson a prominent feature of their website?

All of us here have our grandparents wishes resonating in our hearts and minds. It is our connection to those who have gone before us that will lead us forward.

It is also our connection to each other that will bring together genuine progress for this nation.

We will remain fixed on the promise pledged by the ancestors of this nation, to bring together kawanatanga and rangatiratanga.

This is the time to stand strong for what is right. The treaty is about all of us– it is our mantra for building Aotearoa.

We have had enough of media magicians or politicians painting a fate for the Treaty which reduces it to a nullity.

We will uphold the constitutional blueprint of this land, Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

We know that it is through restoring priority to people, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, that we can achieve great things together in our world.

We are dedicated to genuine and sustainable prosperity – caring for our world means nurturing our environment.

We are committed to a Genuine Progress Index, as a measure of comprehensive, sustainable, and inclusive advancement.

If we take care of our world, our world will care for us – and leave behind a legacy for our mokopuna that we can be proud of.

The Maori Party is ready for the challenge to serve the nation.

Today marks our new beginning.

We know the time is right to unite.

It is the right time for change.

We must take up the opportunity for our voices to be heard, our concerns aired, our priorities represented. It is our time. Ko tenei te wa.

We must have courage to set a new direction and then live by it.

We must apply that same kaha that our international sporting heros, our leading scholars, our artists and our scientists, our poropiti, our mothers and our fathers, apply to their master works.

You and I are ordinary people, called upon to do extraordinary things, for our whanau, for each other, for the nation.

Together we can make the impossible, possible.

E te iwi, Kia piri, kia tata, Whakamaua kia tina, tina! Hui e! taiki e!


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