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Matariki Special This Year, Says Maori Party President

28 June 2014

Matariki Special This Year, Says Maori Party President

This year’s season of Matariki which starts today has special significance for Maori, according to the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish. “Traditionally, Matariki, Te Tau Hou, is a time when te iwi Maori take stock of where we are and look ahead to where we are going. A time more than any other when we as Maori should remember those unforgettable words of the great Sir James Henare: ‘We have done too much to not do more, we have come too far to not go further’” said Ms Glavish.

“What makes Matariki 2014 special is that in a few days, on 7 July, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Maori Party, the first such independent indigenous political party not only to make it to Parliament, but for the past almost six years, to be part of the government of our country. True, we can go back to 1909 and the Young Maori Party, of Carroll, Ngata, Pomare and Buck, but they were Maori MPs and Ministers who were part of larger Pakeha-dominated parties. The Maori Party of today was created by Maori, for Maori, and is solely of Maori, answerable only to voters on the Maori roll in the seven Maori electorates.

“Then 11 weeks later, on 20 September we have a crucial general election, when those of our people who have chosen to be on the Maori roll get to decide whether and how much they want their own party, the Maori Party, to be part of the next government,” Ms Glavish continued.

“The question for our people is: Do we stand as Maori, on our own, or as the playthings of others? If we truly believe the answer is Tu Maori Mai, (stand as Maori), then it’s time we used our heads instead of our hearts. No longer is it tika to allow ourselves to be patronised politically as puppets of Pakeha-dominated parties who make decisions for us, or as forelock-tugging serfs with our hands out to welfare dole masters or to self-serving internet millionaires.

“We are well on the way to regaining our pride as te tangata tuatahi o Aotearoa (the first people of New Zealand), with our own wholly-owned political party, the Maori Party, holding an honoured, respected and successful place in the governance of our country, making our own decisions for our own people in our own way. No matter whether it is Labour or National who leads the new government after 20 September, the Maori Party MPs will be at the governance table. The more seats we can win, the more influence we will wield in that next government.

“But we need to do a whole lot better in 2014 than we did in 2011, when 27% of our people didn’t vote. This year is our chance as Maori to win all seven Maori seats, and thus play a lead role in the future direction of our country,” said Ms Glavish.

ENDS

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