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Turei to stand in Dunedin North

8 February 2008

Turei to stand in Dunedin North

Green Party MP Metiria Turei will not be standing in a Maori seat in this year's election and will instead be focussing on party votes in the Dunedin North electorate.

"I am extremely pleased to have been selected as the Green candidate for Dunedin North," Mrs Turei says.

"Dunedin has been a wonderful home for my family and I, and the Greens here have welcomed me with open arms. I am absolutely honoured to be able to campaign with them in the Dunedin North electorate.

Mrs Turei stood for the Greens in the past two elections, both times in the Maori seats.

"In 2002 I stood in Tamaki Makaurau and in 2005 in Te Tai Tonga. I strongly support the Maori seats and the opportunity they provide for guaranteed Maori representation. It is a personal commitment and a Green policy to support the Maori seats for as long as Maori wish to retain them.

"This election the Greens must gain as many party votes as possible. By committing to a strong green area like Dunedin North, I can campaign to increase the Greens party vote better than in the seat of Te Tai Tonga. In that seat, having a personal profile attracted a significant number of electorate votes. While this is very humbling, electorate votes do not help the Greens reach the five percent threshold. I have a responsibility to campaign wisely to increase the Greens presence in Parliament - and that means a strong party vote campaign in a strong party vote Green electorate.

"During the last election in Te Tai Tonga, the Maori Party candidate lost the electorate to Labour's Mahara Okeroa by only a few thousand votes.

"This election the fight for the Maori electorates will be fierce between the Maori Party and the Labour Party. There is no gain for the Greens in my being squashed in an electorate fight. The only electorate vote I could ever want is one from my mum.

"Dunedin North has had sitting MPs contest it in the past. However, with Pete Hodgson holding a 7500 vote majority I have no concern about the electorate vote. I only need the party vote to ensure the Greens have a strong presence in Parliament," Mrs Turei says.

ENDS

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