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“Marae Limits Options for Maori”

1st August 2005
“Marae Limits Options for Maori”

Destiny New Zealand candidate for Waiariki, Hawea Vercoe, has expressed serious concern at Marae’s ‘shifting’ political debate criteria, following the exclusion of another Destiny New Zealand candidate from its Saturday morning debates.

Marae informed Destiny New Zealand that only the top two polling candidates would appear in its weekly debates. The party registered its disappointment but accepted the decision, but was then surprised to see Marae’s first debate include not two, but the top three polling candidates for Te Tai Tokerau.

“It was apparent to me based on the first programme that the criteria had changed from what Marae had originally informed me. Naturally, I expected this precedent of the top three polling candidates to remain consistent for the remaining Marae debates”, said Mr Vercoe.

However, overt unfairness became apparent when Marae’s second debate reverted back to only two candidates, excluding the third highest polling candidate for Tamaki Makaurau who happened to be Destiny New Zealand’s Tauwehe Hemahema-Tamati.

“Clearly there is an issue of fairness here. Marae appear to be shifting the goal posts week by week. Destiny New Zealand is one of only three parties contesting all seven Maori electorates and all we have ever asked for is a fair opportunity to present our case alongside the rest”, he added.

Mr Vercoe also noted that Marae concluded by stating only two options for the Tainui vote while excluding to mention Destiny New Zealand candidate for Tainui, Mr Hadyn Solomon. “I would be interested to know whether Marae frames questions to those it polls in the same way”, Vercoe added.


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