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Maori Party consultation nears exciting conclusion

Maori Party consultation nears exciting conclusion

Hon Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leaders

15 November 2008

As the whirlwind consultation schedule comes to an end, Mâori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says she has been humbled by the amazing reception the party has received, after 30 hui in the last three days. “Last night in Otaki, well over 160 people crowded the Memorial Hall - while my colleague, Te Ururoa Flavell, talked about over 130 being present at the same time at Ohinemutu,” said Mrs Turia. “120 came to our hui in Porirua this morning as well.”

“We have had wonderful turnout, at less than 24 hours notice, but more overwhelming to me has been the generosity of spirit our people have exhibited, in contemplating the opportunity to lead ourselves forward,” said Mrs Turia. “The 70 people at Hoani Waititi last night, and the 60 at Orakei this morning, showed overwhelming confidence that this is our opportunity to advance, and they put huge support and trust in the Maori Party leadership to act in their interests,” said Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples.

“The people have been interested that an opportunity to participate as part of a government has been extended to us,” said Dr Sharples. “The questions have been searching, the kôrero animated and the participation and involvement of our people most reassuring.”

“It has been an awesome journey,” said Mrs Turia. “We have been reminded of the legacy of Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana and his Nga Koata e Wha, and the dedicated service to the people from Tâ Apirana Ngata, who was a Member of Parliament for 38 years.

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"Both these men always sought what was best for their people, in difficult political, social and economic circumstances. The least we in the Maori Party can do is to emulate, in some small way, these great tangata whenua. “As our people have remembered where we have come from, they are also excited about the journey ahead - and have been united in their resolve that we must walk our own pathway.”

“Today [Saturday] we are carrying on with hui in Wellington, Porirua, Masterton, Auckland, Opotiki and Whanganui,” said Mrs Turia. “And our hui wind up tomorrow in Tauranga.”

“We know that the only way we can make the difference we all want, is if the people walk alongside us,” said Dr Sharples. "We greatly respect the trust that they have placed in us to build a way forward for all our whanau."

ENDS

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