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Party leaders offers support to Pacific cousin

Maori Party leaders offers support to Pacific cousin

Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leaders, Maori Party

Thursday 15 February 2007

The Co-leaders of the Maori Party today offered personal support to the Member of Parliament for Mangere at a time of immense difficulty for him and his family.

"As the Member for Tamaki Makaurau, many of my constituents have close relationships with constituents of the Mangere MP, and have expressed their concerns to me regarding the issues surrounding Taito" said Dr Sharples.

"It was felt appropriate to express these concerns in person, as my co-leader, Tariana, went through similar circumstances in being ostracized following her decision to leave the Labour Party".

"I well remember the traumatic impacts surrounding my departure" said Mrs Turia.

"Those early months in 2004 will be deeply embedded in my memory for all time" said Mrs Turia. "While I am unable to walk in Taito's shoes, I can appreciate the distress that these last few months will have caused his family and aiga".

"Unless you have experienced such a situation, there is no way that you can imagine what it is like" said Mrs Turia.

"The kaupapa of our party includes a focus on manaakitanga" said Mrs Turia.

"As a party, we are committed towards behaving in a way that respects the dignity of human kind. In essence, the meeting today, provided an opportunity to express our concerns in the spirit of aroha to a fellow MP".

"Taito has many decisions to make, and we wish him well while he contemplates his future options".

"It is totally appropriate that we should offer support to a Pacific cousin. We too are of the Pacific and our kinships are very important to us. We are actually related by whakapapa - we are blood" said Dr Sharples.

"After all (Luamanuvao) Winnie Laban used to say to me, "we brown folk should stand together" ended Mrs Turia.

ENDS

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