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Alliance Party congratulates Tariana Turia

July 12 2004

Jill Ovens
Alliance President

The Alliance Party congratulates Tariana Turia on her return to Parliament as co-leader of the new Maori Party.

Alliance President Jill Ovens says the Alliance Council supported the involvement of its leader Matt McCarten and General Secretary Gerard Hehir in the by-election campaign.

“We saw this as an important political development which should be encouraged,” she says.

Ms Ovens says many Alliance members would like to see the Maori Party at the centre of a working-class movement to the left of Labour and look forward to the release of its policies.

She calls on Ms Turia to clearly distance herself from the increasingly reactionary politics of the National Party.

“Like many ordinary New Zealanders, our members are alarmed at the possibility of ‘beneficiary-bashing Brash’ gaining power. This would be disastrous for the poor and dispossessed and a tragedy for Maori.”

Ironically the success of the Maori Party is directly related to the Labour Government's disregard for due process and basic fairness to Maori over the foreshore and seabed, she says.

Our members are dismayed that the Labour Government has allowed the issue to become one that has divided the working class and risks letting Brash in to power as a result.

“As we said in our submission to the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, we are concerned at the Government’s insistence on this legislation in the face of continuing and widespread opposition by Maori. We note that such opposition includes many Pakeha.

"We call on the Government to take all possible steps to resolve the issue through dialogue."

-end-

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