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Promoting the Voice of the Rangatahi

Promoting the Voice of the Rangatahi

Young Māori voters are seen by the Māori Party to have a vital part to play in saving the Māori seats in Parliament says the Māori Party’s youngest candidate, Reverend Te Hira Paenga. “What we’re hearing on the ground is that rangatahi know that their vote will set the direction for the next three years. The Māori Party has been working consistently over the last six years in Government, to bring jobs, Whānau Ora, housing and education support right throughout the motu – but the focus in the North is notable.

“Through the Māori and Pasifika Trade Training project, we have a focus on building and primary industries in Northland; infrastructure and construction across Auckland.

“Since the Māori Party has been in there, we have had 76,000 houses benefit from Warm Up NZ: Heat Smart and Warm Up NZ: Healthy Homes specifically in Tāmaki and Te Tai Tokerau. We have Kickstart Breakfast in all decile one to four schools. The Māori Party stepped in and spoke up to save enviro-schools – and now we have 68 in the Northland region, a total of 12,082 students. And of course with Whānau Ora, there are over 9000 whānau, 42,000 whānau members directly engaged throughout Aotearoa; with a significant focus in Te Tai Tokerau. I am really proud of all that our party has done. It’s about real gains, feeding our kids, keeping our whanau well, creating work for our rangatahi, taking control of our future”.

“Rangatahi are a vibrant part of the North; those under 30 comprise a massive 57% of our population” said Rangimarie Naida Glavish, President of the Māori Party. “Reverend Te Hira is a dynamic voice for our youth and I have seen the positive impact he is making in encouraging young people on the drive to the ballot box.

“As someone nearer their own age, and well educated at tertiary level, Te Hira has the skills, passion and warrior spirit to be a convincing voice for rangatahi in the next Parliament and government. He will also be the first graduate of kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa, whare kura to enter Parliament, how’s that for making an impact!

President Glavish also strongly endorsed the comments made earlier today by co-leaders Tariana Turia and Te Ururoa Flavell about maintaining the Māori seats, for as long as Māori want them.

“We have already seen the calls from the Conservative and ACT Parties to scrap the Māori seats, and we remember that if it hadn’t been for the heroic intervention in 2008 with the Relationship Accord agreement to protect the Māori seats, that those seats would have been gone already but for the resolute defence by the Māori Party.

If the Internet Mana Party comes into parliament on the basis of a tupuna-given Māori seat, there will certainly be even more pressure to end direct Māori representation in Parliament, and we will lose all the gains that the Māori Party has been able to make for our people over the past two terms in government,” said Ms Glavish. “Hell will freeze over before I let that happen”.


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