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Maori Party President Acknowledges Founding Co-Leaders

24 July 2014

Maori Party President Acknowledges Founding Co-Leaders

Maori Party President, Rangimarie Naida Glavish, has today acknowledged the enormous contribution founding Maori Party co-leaders, Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples have made towards building a greater nation.

“The platform they have established in the first decade of the Maori Party’s history, has been to demonstrate that no Government can ever hope to take New Zealand forward unless it is alongside the strong and independent voice of Maori.

“Over the last six years in particular, Pita and Tariana have presided over a radical shift in thinking from public and private sectors alike. The country has moved from fearing Maori to knowing our prosperity as a nation lies in Maori and non-Maori working together, living together, generating wealth and valuing our diverse cultural realities.

“We can be so proud that due to the fine leadership of Tariana and Pita, and their unwavering faith in kaupapa Maori, we now have a solid foundation from which to grow. The social and economic organisation of government has been transformed, from the ground-breaking impact of Whanau Ora. Tariana has inspired departments, Ministers, communities and families to place trust in people to be self-determining. She has tackled the hard issues –demanded rheumatic fever be on the agenda; prioritised tobacco reform; encouraged families to eliminate violence; created urgency in addressing Maori housing supply.

“Pita has created a strong basis for protecting and defending Maori rights and interests – whether it be in getting New Zealand to sign up to the UN Declaraiton on the rights of indigenous peoples; establishing a Maori Statutory board alongside of the Auckland Council, or negotiating increased investment and accountability for te reo Maori.

“The Maori Party has never been stronger, and our membership has never felt more confident than today, after ten years of incredible leadership, achievement and passion for the people. But while we celebrate the momentum we have generated through such significant gains, today is of course extremely poignant, as the time comes for two life-champions to deliver their valedictory addresses. We will never be able to thank them enough for the distinctive difference they have made in all of our lives”.

ENDS

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