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Poroporoaki: Manu Alamein Kopu

The Hon Tariana Turia
Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Te Tai Hauauru

5 December 2011

Poroporoaki: Manu Alamein Kopu

Ngaro te kai , ngaro te tangata ki te pō. Iri he rau kawakawa, iri ki whare aituā.
E hine, e te Tai rā-whiti, haere, haere, haere atu rā.

Haere ki ngā ringaringa o te wāhi ngaro, haere ki te kāinga tūturu o te tangata ki te poho o Papa-tua-Nuku, haere ki wāhi tē kitea kia manaakitia e ō tupuna.

Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party, has expressed her sympathies to the whanau of the late Alamein Kopu, who passed away on Sunday 4 December.

“I entered Parliament in the same year as Alamein, and always appreciated the contribution she made to Parliament, in her three years as a List MP”.

“Her maiden address set the platform for her political career, first within the authority of Mana Motuhake (under the Alliance banner) and subsequently as an independent, and leader of her own party, ‘Mana Wahine Te Ira Tangata”.

“In that address she cut straight to the chase, asking ‘whatever happened to treaty partnership and equal rights for women’ while at the same time challenging the activities of multi-nationals; raising concern about the impact of downsizing upon Maori, criticising the methodology by which the pass mark for Maori language was scaled down in external examinations, and speaking out about the slashing of budget for Radio Aotearoa”.

“That one speech was classic Alamein – making everyone in the chamber think, and bringing to Parliament a voice that was true to the people she represented”.

“I am disappointed that some commentators reduce Alamein’s legacy as limited to the catalyst for waka jumping legislation. What must also be on the record is her dedication to serving her constituency.

"On 16 July 1997, when she advised the Speaker that she had resigned from the Alliance Party, her intentions were clear, “to serve the Maori people as an independent Maori member of Parliament”. 18 months later, in January 1999, following the Hokianga floods, Alamein raised a question in the House regarding the quality of the drinking water in the Hokianga; a question which eventually led to ‘Nga Puna Wai o Hokianga (safe drinking-water pilot).’ It was just one example when an injustice she had identified led to a direct outcome for Maori”.

"Her public and political achievements aside, Alamein will be also missed greatly as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Our thoughts and sympathies are extended to her whanau, hapu and iwi at this sad time".

ENDS

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