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Dunne challenges Maori Party to front up

Monday, 20 October 2008

Dunne challenges Maori Party to front up on corruption

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne today challenged the leadership of the Maori Party to justify the corrupting effect the Maori seats have on New Zealand's democracy.

"It's been two days since I raised this issue and the Maori Party co-leaders, Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples, along with their Green Party cheerleaders, have been conspicuously silent.

"Polls over the weekend illustrate perfectly how the will of the voters could be perverted by the Maori Party creating overhang seats through winning 6 or 7 Maori electorate seats while only being entitled to 2 or 3 through their party vote.

"The same polls show the voters want to see a National-led Government, but because of the overhang, National may not be able to muster enough votes in Parliament to achieve a majority, despite the fact they will have achieved a popular mandate.

"Such an outcome would be a clear perversion of the voters' wishes," said Mr Dunne.

"Maori politicians have already demonstrated they are perfectly capable of winning electorate seats in their own right - having special seats reserved for them is demeaning, unnecessary and a hangover from the past.

"We need a referendum on whether the Maori seats remain, along with other referenda on who should be our Head of State, whether we retain MMP and whether New Zealand should be a republic," concluded Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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