Candidate’s SOS to northern Maori voters: Save our seats!
Embargoed to 8 p.m., Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Maori Party candidate’s SOS to northern Maori voters: “Save our seats!”
(Extract from address by Rev Te Hira Paenga to Kura Hourua Maori Political Leaders hui, in Whangarei this evening).
“Tonight I want to send an SOS message to Maori voters, and especially to Rangatahi. Tonight's SOS is not "Save our ship" or "Save our souls". Tonight, SOS stands for SAVE OUR SEATS.
“There are people out there, and not just in the ACT Party and the Conservative Party, who want to do away with our Maori seats in Parliament.
“The marriage of convenience between Kim Dotcom and the Mana party has re-energised calls for the dumping of the Maori seats and has put them under a renewed threat.
“It is the Maori party that convinced National not to dump these seats last time around, even though that was their policy.
“We have been criticised by our political opponents because we sat at the table of Government and obtained real outcomes for Maori including getting schools like this one in place but it is not us that is now putting the Maori seats at risk, it is those that criticise us.
“So let's show them, and every other Kiwi, that we do value our Maori seats, and we will do that by voting for the one and only party that has saved our seats so far, our own Maori Party; the only political party that is of Maori, by Maori, for Maori; that we do still follow the whakatauki of our great tupuna, Ta Hemi Henare, to Tu Maori Mai, that we will stand as Maori; and we will SOS, save our seats! Here in Te Tai Tokerau electorate, that means voting for me as the Maori Party candidate.”
ends - 260 words