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Maori Party Seeks Support For Maori Seats

Friday 2 September 2005

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

The Maori Party is very disappointed that no other political parties have come out strongly in support of the Maori electoral seats.

"Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader, declared a position on the entrenchment of the seats at our media conference on Wednesday 31 August. We would have expected that other parties would also show their colours" stated Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party".

"It is all well and good for the Prime Minister to say that removing the seats would be a 'dangerous road to go down' and 'very, very damaging".

"Our people want more than words. The rhetoric wears pretty thin when Labour fails to act".

"The people have asked us to take the action that we took this week, in calling for the entrenchment of the Maori electoral seats, and they obviously want to know where other parties sit" stated Mrs Turia.

"The fact that no other parties have spoken up about the need to protect Maori representation in Parliament says it all" stated Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

"The only way to achieve a strong and independent Maori voice in Parliament is to vote for the Maori Party".

"Our people are concerned at the 'silence treatment' they are experiencing from Labour on matters of key concern such as this" stated Mrs Turia.

"It is clear to Maori voters that the Prime Minister wants to control whether the Maori seats exist or not.

"It is interesting to note that when Jill Pettis, Senior Government Whip, was asked the question at a Maori Business breakfast in Whanganui this morning, she clearly indicated her preference was for entrenchment".

"Yet Trevor Mallard has publically stated that he supports the view of Winston Peters that the Maori seats will go".

"The Prime Minister needs to give voters some certainty about the extent of her commitment to the Maori Electoral seats".

ENDS

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