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10 Years Since Tariana Quit Labour

MEDIA RELEASE

30 April 2014 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

10 Years Since Tariana Quit Labour

It is 10 years today since Hon Tariana Turia returned to Ratana Pa to tell her people of her decision to cross the floor and stand against the Labour Government's Foreshore and Seabed Bill.

"Today is therefore the 10th anniversary of Tariana leaving the Labour Party which she had represented for the previous eight years, and opening the door that led to the foundation of the Maori Party a few weeks later," said party president Rangimarie Naida Glavish. "And what a decade of achievement for te iwi Maori it has been, highlighted by the flagship policy of Whanau Ora, plus advancements in health, education, tobacco reform, Maori economic development, Maori language strategy, housing developments and maara kai to name a few.

"The fundamental kaupapa of our party right from its inception was be a strong and independent Maori voice in parliament - to give our people a vehicle, a voice and the means to be heard and make change and I am so proud that we have done that and continue to do that" said the Maori Party President today.

Maori Party co-leader, Te Ururoa Flavell said Mrs Turia's action on 30 April 2004 "resonated in the hearts and memories of whānau throughout this land, who admired the pluck and courage of a woman to stand up for what was right."

He described Mrs Turia's trip back to Ratana as tikeitia te wae (take the long stride), explaining that the concept of comes from a Ngāti Apa waiata which talked about the story of Hau - who in his journeys,traversed the west coast and named all the rivers from Whenuakura (south of Patea) right through to Porirua.

"In many ways, before Tariana made her historic decision on the 30 April 2004, she pursued that same pathway - gaining courage, strength and commitment from the whānau, hapū and iwi of Te Tai Hauāuru as she sought her direction about what they wanted her to do. What her courage teaches us is to believe in ourselves. To believe that we can create change on our own terms, as whanau and as Māori."

"Over the last ten years the Māori Party has brought the focus of attention in Parliament to the vast range of champions that are speaking up for change - whether it be in enabling good lives in the disability sector; in addressing gambling harm; in protecting our environment; or, as recently as the last 24 hours, in supporting families ravaged by the harm of synthetic drugs."

"Every day is another opportunity to take a leap of faith, to advance the interests of the people - and the Māori Party will always readily take up this challenge, concluded Mr Flavell.

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