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Me and Mr Jones - we got a thing going on!

“Me and Mr Jones - we got a thing going on!”

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

Tuesday 8 August 2006

“Maori are Amazing” stated Tariana Turia, “and on the brink of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, I am laying a challenge to Shane Jones, to stop indulging in the practice of pessimism”.

“Maori are tied of being labelled as separatist and negative, when in reality we are moving upwards and onwards” said Mrs Turia.

“Take this electoral option. If you are interested in pursuing a negative agenda you would describe the results as demonstrating the campaign was a waste of money, that the campaign was a failure, or seek to blame a political party (namely the Maori Party) for the results that emerge”.

“We are much more interested in restoring hope and confidence in our people, that we can achieve our aspirations, that we can all be responsible for carving a new pathway forward”.

“So I celebrate the fact that over a period of just four months, the Maori Roll grew by another 15,000".

"I celebrate the fact that the nation has attracted 7000 Maori new first time enrollers to believe in the power of political participation”.

“I celebrate the fact, that immediately prior to the elections, 30,000 more voters identified as being of Maori descent enrolled compared with the same time in 2002.

"I celebrate the fact that the Maori roll has trebled from a mere 70,000 in 1986 to a new grand total, the highest yet, of 222, 362; and indeed that the total Maori enrolled across both rolls tops the charts at 385,977”.

“This is all fantastic news - and shows that Maori can think for themselves, and are doing so in big numbers”.

“So I say to Mr Jones, stop the moaning, shift the focus from grievances and defeat to one of confidence and optimism, and let us look to each other to do all that we can, to restore whanau well-being to a position of national pride”.

“I urge him to stop trotting out Labour's carefully scripted lines and start thinking for himself. That is what we stand for - to take the power to think for ourselves, nothing more, nothing less” noted Mrs Turia.

“I can, however, understand where Mr Jones’ paternalistic behaviour comes from - he is after all, still the Government appointed chairperson on Te Ohu Kaimoana” said Mrs Turia. “Our people have frequently raised at hui, the unhealthy influence of the Government’s hand through the presence of people such as Mr Jones in prominent decision-making positions”.

“What this does, in fact, is demonstrate that this government does not believe, contrary to what Shane says, that Maori can do things for themselves” said Mrs Turia. “And indeed, if Mr Jones believed this, why is he still the chairperson?’

ENDS

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