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Maori Party Files Complaint Over Radio Ads

6 September 2005

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

The Maori Party has filed a complaint against Labour, who claim - inaccurately - that the Maori Party voted with National 227 times. The claim has been made on election advertisements broadcast across Maori radio. After requesting a detailed breakdown from the Parliamentary Library, the Maori Party has put the matter in the hands of the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

"Labour's advertising machine has stolen a leaf out of National's Billboard campaign, and dumbed down its message to Maori voters."

"No matter how you look at it, Labour's numbers just don't add up," says Tariana Turia, Co-leader. "They're dumbing them down, including committee votes and discounting the times that they themselves voted with National because they think voters aren't smart enough to count. It's a dirty trick from a party desperate to hold onto the Maori vote."

The truth is, as always, just a bit more complex. In Parliament the Maori Party voted in common with Labour 43 times, with National 87 and with the Greens, 76. And when committee votes are considered, the Maori Party has more in common with the Greens than with any other party.

"And the real issue is not who you voted with, but what you voted for, says Mrs Turia. "Everytime we have voted in the best interests of Maori. No other party can say that."

"With National surging in the polls, a strong electoral vote for Maori, one that sees at least seven candidates returned, is the only way of making sure that National doesn't become the next government. Labour is losing ground daily and can't make the grade. Any vote for a Labour candidate is a wasted vote" said Mrs Turia.

"A vote for a Maori candidate gives more value to Maori: it means more Maori in Parliament and will keep National out."

ENDS

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