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Maori Party celebrates 10th anniversary


(Embargoed to 1 p.m. Tuesday 8 July 2014)

Maori Party celebrates 10th anniversary

Wednesday 9 July is the 10th anniversary of the registration of the Maori Party. In a special anniversary message, the party’s president Rangimarie Naida Glavish said: “On this day we celebrate a decade of extraordinary achievement for our Maori people. What began in fighting to restore due access to justice that had been taken from us with the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, and in retaining the Maori seats in Parliament, has proceeded to the social and economic benefits of Whanau Ora and many enduring gains for our people in health, education, housing and employment.

“We are especially proud of being for the first time in New Zealand’s Parliamentary history, the first and only party created wholly and solely by Maori, peopled by Maori, focused on achieving progress for our Maori people based on traditional Maori principles of tika, pono, mana, tapu and aroha, and contributing a positive Maori dimension to the governance of all New Zealand for all New Zealanders,” said Ms Glavish.

The value of the Maori contribution to governance of the country owed much to the skills and wisdom of the party’s founders, co--leaders Hon Tariana Turia and Hon Dr Pita Sharples, and the first president, Professor Whatarangi Winiata. “As Ministers in the last two governments, Tariana and Pita have won respect and admiration across the political spectrum for their positive contributions to advancing peace, tranquility and public welfare throughout the length and breadth of the nation. They retire from active political life at the end of this Parliamentary term knowing that they have laid a secure foundation for continued Maori Party participation in the future governance of Aotearoa.

“Last year, Pita passed the reins of tane co--leadership to Te Ururoa Flavell, of Waiariki, and after the coming election, Tariana’s wahine co--leadership is expected to pass to one of our three outstanding three wahine candidates seeking election to Parliament. It remains our kaupapa to continue to be an influential force in all future governments irrespective of which of the major parties leads them.

“Today, therefore, we remember the wise words of our great tupuna, Sir James Henare, who reminded us: ‘We have done too much to not do more; we have come too far to not go further’. This end of our first decade is, therefore, just a milestone on a journey that still has far to travel as we consolidate our status as not just tangata whenua, but also tangata tuatahi (first people) of the land.

“The Maori Party was born during Matariki 2004. We celebrate our 10th birthday during Matariki 2014, firmly resolved at the forthcoming election to win all seven Maori seats in Parliament, one for each of the seven stars of Matariki. We are going for all seven – the full Matariki. Tu Maori Mai,” said Ms Glavish.

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