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The Treaty in the House

The Treaty in the House
Hone Harawira, MP for Te Tai Tokerau
Monday 13 October 2008

“The Treaty has always been a cornerstone in my life,” said Hone Harawira, Maori Party Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau, ”and I ain’t surprised to see that it’s also the most important issue for people in the north.”

TVNZ’s Marae-Digipoll conducted between 15 September 2008 and 7 October 2008, listed Maori/Treaty Issues, education, health, family issues and house prices as the five most important issues for Maori voters in the Tai Tokerau Electorate.

“The Tai Tokerau is the home of the Treaty, and Maori up here will always want an MP who stands by the Treaty, and that’s a clear point of difference between us and Labour,” said Harawira. “Labour voted to delete the Treaty of Waitangi from all legislation, and every time we tried to put the Treaty into legislation, Labour voted it down.

“And Labour’s betrayal of the Treaty is clearly recognised by voters in Tai Tokerau who have given the Maori Party a 47% to 35% lead over Labour, one month out from the election (last election it was Labour 41% over Maori 33%).

“Labour’s demotion in the polls is also punishment for their abysmal showing in other areas as well,” said Harawira.

“Take education for example - after nine years in government, nearly 50% of all Maori kids are still leaving school without any qualifications at all. That’s a record to be ashamed of.”

“In terms of Health, government could immediately put a stop to 2,000 Maori people dying every year from cancer by banning the production and sale of tobacco, but they choose to let people die so they can gather tobacco tax.

“As far as family issues are concerned, government has chosen not to take GST-off-food even though 80% of all New Zealanders want it, because the government is worried about their being too much paperwork.”

“In terms of housing, this government has overseen the greatest rise in house prices in the history of this country and taken home ownership out of reach for most Maori families, and forced Maori out of homes through mortgagee sales without any consideration to government’s obligations to its Maori citizens.

“Actually, given that record I’m surprised to see how many people are still fooled by Labour,” said Harawira. “Good to see that the people of Tai Tokerau can see it for what it is.”


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