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Maori coalition will back Labour-led Government

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 11 November 1999

Maori coalition will back Labour-led Government "if required"

Maori candidates campaigning for list votes under the Mana Maori Movement banner confirmed today they would back a Labour-led Government, if they held the balance of power after the November 27 election.

Te Tawharau leader, Tuariki Delamere, and Tuhoe activist, Tame Iti, of the Mana Maori Movement, told today's Rotorua hui of the tribes of the central North Island plateau that they had made the decision after wide consultation throughout Maoridom. The tribes include Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa and Tuhoe.

They confirmed they had consulted with the Tumuaki of the Ratana Church earlier this week about their position.

The two parties, together with a third Maori party, Piri Wiri Tua, recently formed a coalition to contest the list vote at the General Election, with the aim of getting as many Maori MP's as possible into Parliament without having them tied to pakeha-led parties.

The two men said that they were totally opposed to the cynical redneck-chasing, Maori-bashing vote-gathering tactics of the ACT Party.

"Accordingly, if Mana Maori Movement MP's do get elected to Parliament and become involved in balance of power negotiations, they will support a Labour-led Government.

"But if we do get involved in that situation, we will go back to the marae of New Zealand to talk to the people before we make a final decision," the two men said.

"This is consistent with our current campaigning in which we are reinforcing the prophecies of Te Kooti Rikirangi and T W Ratana.

"They foresaw a time when the Maori people would stand up in their own right. It is our hope that the year 2000 will see Maori politicians stand up in the House of Representatives as MP's for Maori, rather than as clip-on MP's hiding under the wings of the pakeha-led parties," they said.

Mr Delamere is contesting the Waiariki seat in the Bay of Plenty as the Te Tawharau candidate and Mr Iti is running in Auckland Central for the Mana Maori Movement.

Ends

| | Contact:
| Tuariki Delamere | Tame Iti | Kelly Pene | | | |
| Te Tawharau | Mana Maori Movement | Piri Wiri Tua | | | | |
| 025 570 885 | 021 292 8496 | 021 251 2557 | | | | | |

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