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Repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed

"Repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act a Great Birthday Gift"

Thursday 12 October 2006

Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader, Maori Party

The Maori Party today was celebrating a decade of excellence through the leadership of Tariana Turia, consummate Maori politician.

Tariana Turia was elected into an MMP Parliament on 12 October 1996.

"I am so proud to be associated with Tariana Turia" said Dr Pita Sharples, co-leader of the Maori Party. "Her ten years in Parliament represents a vast contribution to her people in so many areas".

"She has demonstrated the strong leadership required to forge a way forward in this nation" said Dr Sharples. "Her dedication to tangata whenua was absolute when she showed she was prepared to move beyond the constraints of party political pressure, to put her future on the line, in fighting the massive injustice of the Foreshore and Seabed Act".

"And it is indeed historic, that today of all days, the Foreshore and Seabed Repeal Bill in her name, was drawn from the ballot" said Dr Sharples. "Some would call it serendipitious, others would say it is the work of te hunga wairua".

"The stand that Tariana took represents the enormous courage and the compassion of the woman" said Dr Sharples. "To think that she then stood with us all, to form a new party, and continue to carry on the hard work, is incredible".

Mrs Turia was also praised by the other members of the Maori Party Caucus.

"I have lived my life surrounded by strong women" added Hone Harawira, Member for Te Tai Tokerau. "I love working with Tariana Turia. "I was really comfortable coming in here, knowing Tari, and knowing she had never changed. I'd think, 'What you see is what you get'. She never once lost sight of the kaupapa - even though she seemed to be hauled up to the 9th floor on a regular basis!"

"Here is a woman whom I respect - who is as true to her kaupapa now, as she was before she came into this place" said Mr Harawira.

"Tariana has always been a huge source of inspiration to me, and I know for many throughout the motu" said Te Ururoa Flavell, Member for Waiariki and Maori Party whip.

"Her work amongst her people, her involvement at Pakaitore, through to the development and the Maori Party and even my place here, remains my inspiration" concluded Mr Flavell.

ENDS

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