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Maori Party welcomes TV3 cancellation of debate

Maori Party welcomes TV3 cancellation of leaders’ debate
Hon Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leaders 29 September 2008

The Maori Party congratulates TV3 on its principled decision to cancel the planned Political Party Leaders’ Debate, following the refusal of Labour’s Helen Clark and National’s John Key to participate.

“The decision of the two old parties not to join in such debates shows extreme arrogance,” said Tariana Turia.

“They are taking away the level playing field on which all parties can debate the issues. That shows they think it’s all about themselves, not about the voters,” she said.

Dr Sharples says the decision by Helen Clark and John Key not to share a stage with the leaders of the smaller parties is a backward step for democracy in New Zealand.

“They don’t want the smaller parties questioning their policies in public, and holding them accountable,” said Dr Sharples.

“They are trying to return our political system back to the old First Past the Post method, which the two major parties could dominate and control.

“By contrast, younger voters support MMP, including 92 percent of Maori Party voters. We are not afraid of diverse opinions and alternative points of view,” he said.

“The agreement between National and Labour is a clear attempt to dictate how the political debate will be conducted, and we salute TV3’s stand for journalistic integrity by calling the bluff of the old guard,” said Mrs Turia.

“At the hui I’ve been to recently, everyone is saying they’re sick of both of the old parties and their political game-playing,” she added.


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