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Labour rejects Māori Party but does not exclude Dotcom

Labour rejects Māori Party but does not exclude Dotcom

“Labour leader David Cunliffe can speak for himself but he has neither mandate nor credibility as a wannabe spokesman for or to te iwi Māori,” said Rangimarie Naida Glavish, president of the Māori Party this morning.

She was replying to the report in this morning’s Herald that Mr Cunliffe had told NewstalkZB’s Mike Hosking: "that he has ruled out having the Māori Party in Government."

Ms Glavish said that what people need to know is that a vote for the Māori Party is a vote for te iwi Māori and the retention of the Māori seats in Parliament, Whanau Ora and other benefits.

“Māori voters have consistently said they want the Māori Party to work with the government. Interesting that Mr Cunliffe is not listening to them - who is he listening to? His Māori MP’s Nanaia Mahuta, Kelvin Davis, Meka Whairiti and Rino Tirikatene? Or can we detect the hand of Matt McCarten in Mr Cunliffe’s failure to exclude the Dotcom party?

"Whatever deal Mr Cunliffe has done with NZ First and the Greens, we believe his first call should be to respect the wishes of voters on 20 September - casting us in the role of political enemy is neither helpful nor constructive at this point of the electoral cycle - we need confidence in a future in which parties can come together to work positively for the future of this nation.

“What our own people need to know is that Mr Cunliffe, and presumably the Labour Party, has rejected us; it is not a case of us rejecting them. We remind everyone that they don’t need to be Māori or on the Māori roll to be able to cast a party vote for the Māori Party, and we have had already many assurances from non-Maori that they will give us their party vote,” said Ms Glavish.

Ends (307 words)

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