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Maori Party Aiming for All Seven Seats

(Embargoed to 7 p.m. Saturday 12 July 2014)

Maori Party Aiming for All Seven Seats

The Maori Party is aiming to win all seven Maori electorate seats in Parliament at the forthcoming General Election.

This target was announced by party president Rangimarie Naida Glavish when she addressed the 10th birthday celebration in Rotorua on Saturday night which doubled as the opening of the party’s 2014 election campaign.

Ms Glavish said: “The seven Maori seats are there for the taking by the Maori Party.

We are confident of holding our present three seats, Tamaki Makaurau (where Rangi McLean has huge support over little known opposition), Waiariki (where co--leader Te Ururoa Flavell has consolidated a large and loyal following) and Te Tai Hauauru (where Chris McKenzie has ably assumed the mantle of the incomparable Tariana Turia).

“In two other seats we have the advantage of offering our voters ‘a bob each way’ two-- for one deal: in Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga for the electorate seat, while Kelvin Davis comes in on the Labour Party List, and Hauraki Waikato where they can have two wahine toa, Susan Cullen for the electorate, and Nanaia Mahuta a certainty with her high place on the Labour List.

In the other two seats, we are confident we can win because we have superior candidates, Marama Fox in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and Ngaire Button in Te Tai Tonga, who will give their electorates much more effective representation than they are getting now."

“So just as there are seven stars in Matariki, there are seven Maori seats in Parliament, and we’re going for the lot – the full Matariki."

Ms Glavish reminded her listeners that it was the Labour Party that alienated Maori 10 years ago with its foreshore and seabed legislation.

“It was the Labour Party that turned its back on the alliance signed in 1936 between Michael Joseph Savage and Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana that had for so many decades formed the link between Maori and Labour.

We didn’t leave them; they left us.

“That’s not to say we will never get back together again.

We are now governed under a proportional system of MMP, which, for the first time since the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi, has given us the opportunity to be at the table of government, on behalf of Maori, in our own right as an independent party, of Maori, by Maori, for Maori.

And there we will stay, regardless of which major party leads the Government after any election, as long as our people recognise that ours is the party that represents and fights for the rights of all Maori; the party that is te Pou o te Iwi Maori, the watch--tower for Maori on Parliament Hill.

“There are some among our people who accuse us of having sold out to the National Party.

They need to have their eyes and ears tested, and to wake themselves up to the realities of modern political life.

We are in a Relationship Accord with National because, and only because, National is the government.

Only the government has the power, the mana, to make and change laws, and to make life better for all New Zealanders, but especially for Maori.

Nothing can be achieved by performing a protest haka outside the fence or from an Opposition bench in Parliament.

It was not protest or opposition that negotiated the landmark programme of Whanau Ora, undoubtedly the most effective social and economic gain for Maori ever in our modern history.

Whanau Ora was made possible only by the Maori Party being in Government,” Ms Glavish concluded.


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