"Maori Power going from Strength to Strength"
"Maori Political Power going from Strength to Strength" says Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leaders, Maori Party
Monday 7 August 2006
The Maori Party is patting te iwi Maori on the back with the news that the Maori Roll has reached a record high. The Party noted that the roll has trebled in the lifetime of today's first time voters.
"At the end of the 1986 Option the roll sat at 70,000. Today's 18 year olds have seen the strength of their vote treble during their lifetime" said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party. The Roll has doubled since the 1994 Option, where just 100,000 Maori were on the roll.
"It's only a year since we hit the 200,000 threshold" said Mrs Turia. "Last August, I was delighted that 30,000 more Maori voters had enrolled, when compared with the numbers three years earlier in 2002. We're going from strength to strength" said Mrs Turia."
"We must commend the dedicated work of all those organisations who contracted for the 'kanohi ki te kanohi' campaign (or face-to-face Maori Electoral Option teams) to promote the vote out amongst our communities".
"A key feature of the results, is the significant increase of new enrolments on the Maori roll (7914)" said Dr Sharples. "We are happy that the efforts by the Party membership appear to have paid dividends, with 80% of new voters enrolling on the Maori Roll".
"This is a clear statement of where our young people are at. They're Maori and proud, and see a future on the Maori Roll."
"Another interesting feature from the results of the Option, is the number of Maori who have shifted from the Maori roll to the General roll" said Dr Sharples.
"Anecdotal evidence suggests that Labour has run a concerted campaign to encourage Maori off the Maori roll in the seats where they know the Maori Party has a stronghold, or in areas where Labour seats were becoming increasingly vulnerable such as Tukituki, Gisborne, Napier, all of which they have lost, and Rotorua, which is now marginal" stated Dr Sharples.
"They have effectively given up on the Maori seats, even those they currently hold, the winning margins of which were slashed by the Maori Party in the last elections" said Dr Sharples.
"We are happy to speculate that there will be eight seats in the new parliament" ended Mrs Turia. "Our people are ready to exercise our political power."