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It’s Looking Good for 2008 says Maori Party

It’s Looking Good for 2008 says Maori Party

Dr Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia, Co-leaders of the Maori Party

Embargoed until Saturday 10 November 2007 (10am)

The Maori Party today is very pleased to learn that the latest Marae Digipoll survey indicates they are well on the way to achieving their aim of taking all seven Maori seats in the 2008 Elections.

“It has always been our aspiration to be the independent Maori voice in Parliament by having the privilege of representing all of the seven Maori seats” said Dr Sharples.

“Today’s poll, clearly indicating that the Maori Party would take six seats – and with an equal tie for the seventh – will be a great boost to our membership”.

“It is interesting to see that there is a huge gap between the Maori Party and Labour in Waiariki (Maori Party 71%; Labour 15%); and Te Tai Tokerau (Maori Party 68.70%; Labour 20.5%)” said Tariana Turia.

“I believe the strong and consistent representation by Te Ururoa Flavell and Hone Harawira on behalf of the people most affected by the terror raids, is recognised in the people’s support” said Mrs Turia.

“The majority of Maori surveyed saw the armed raids in Te Urewera as ‘an unnecessary over-reaction’ (68%) and as having negative consequences for race relations (52%)” said Mrs Turia. “The majority of Maori polled also agreed with my colleague, Hone Harawira, that the police have been acting in ways which have terrorised Maori communities” (55%).

“I urge all those politicians who have been so hasty with their huffy retorts of ‘hysteria’; labelling public reaction as ‘alarmist’; ‘outrageous’; ‘extremist’, ‘sick’, and ‘divisive’; to take a long, calm look at this survey, and to try to understand the depth of feeling that tangata whenua have had about this issue”.

“The poll is a very useful barometer on Maori opinion” said Dr Sharples. “We have noted the significant level of interest tangata whenua have in climate change” said Dr Sharples, “It is also fascinating that there is such low support for Kiwisaver (84% have not joined up) and that 'tax cuts' is the most important issue for Maori on the Maori roll”.

“We note particularly the pride that Maori have in being Maori” said Dr Sharples. “This is not to say they are not proud of being a New Zealander – it is not actually a competition” said Dr Sharples. “What it shows us is that if you know your whakapapa, you know who you are, you can stand proud in any world and amongst any culture”.

“I have to say congratulations to Dr Sharples, that once again, Maori have shown such strong support for his leadership” said Mrs Turia.

22% of Maori surveyed saw Pita Sharples as the most effective Maori MP. The next highest Maori MP was Winston Peters (11%).

“Of course it is pleasing to see that in six of the seven seats we are ahead, even if it is by a small margin” said Mrs Turia. “We know we have a lot of hard work to do, and this poll gives us a sound basis to move into Election Year”.

“The Marae digi-poll has a solid track record in reporting the mood of the people” said Mrs Turia. “This November 2007 poll will certainly give our people the heart to go all out. It’s time to get to work!”


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