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Maori Party Congratulates Kevin Rudd

Maori Party Congratulates Kevin Rudd on Labour's Victory in the Australian Federal Election

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

Monday 26 November 2007

"For indigenous Australians, a Howard defeat signifies that Australians have voted against policies which attacked and polarised various sectors across their nation, and in particular Aboriginal communities" said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.

"We have been pleased to see the new Prime Minister pledge his commitment "for all Australia" and welcome also his statement that a Labour Government would introduce policies that give effect to closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians" said Mrs Turia.

"These are great statements of intent" said Mrs Turia, "and indigenous communities across the globe will now be looking to see these promises implemented into practical, locally determined solutions".

"We would urge the Labour Leader to work closely with Aboriginal communities, and to give specific emphasis to Aboriginal Reconciliation as they move forward" said Dr Sharples.

"We have noted the immediate call from Labour politicians in the Northern Territory to reverse the scrapping of permits that control the access of non-indigenous peoples on Aboriginal land; and to reinstate the Community Development Employment Projects" said Dr Sharples.

"These Northern Territory Labour Politicians are speaking out, reminding the new Prime Minister that Aboriginal Peoples want to work collaboratively, not have decisions determined by others, about them, on their behalf, and not in their interests".

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"The opportunity has now come to give credence to the continued calls to say 'sorry' to the stolen generations; to engage in meaningful consultation; and to ensure there are robust processes in place to enable the people's voice to be heard" said Dr Sharples.

"We in the Maori Party, will be waiting with interest, to learn reactions from indigenous political leaders and community spokespersons, to the new man in charge" said Dr Sharples. "Indeed, many eyes will be on Australia to see how the goals and dreams of Aboriginal peoples will influence the new Australian Government".

ENDS

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