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Labour’s attack on iwi is an attack on whanau

MEDIA STATEMENT
Te Ururoa Flavell
Maori Party MP

26 November 2009

Labour’s attack on iwi is an attack on whanau

The Maori Party says whanau and iwi can’t be divided and the Labour Opposition’s attempt to attack iwi is an attack on thousands of whanau.

“Without whanau there is no iwi and it is low of the Labour Party to hit out at iwi especially when those iwi have made more of a difference for their whanau than any other group, including, the Labour Party has.

“There are many iwi who have initiatives set up for their whanau in the areas of childcare, education, language revival, cultural, housing, social and economic development,” Mr Flavell said.

"I go to hui in my electorate and throughout the country almost every weekend, and I see iwi meeting all the time to discuss the future of their whanau.

“There are also a number of iwi who are still establishing their structures and operations and that they will need time to complete this before they can start delivering services to their whanau.

“Labour is doing Maori whanau a disservice by attacking iwi – iwi who it had no problem dealing with when it was in Government.”

Ngai Tahu had an iwi membership at the last census of 49,185 so Labour’s description that they were a “narrow elite” was incorrect, Mr Flavell said.

Labour also broadened their attack to include the Iwi Leaders Group who engaged with the Maori Party over the emissions trading scheme, referring to such eminent leaders like Ngahiwi Tomoana of Ngati Kahungunu, Dr Apirana Mahuika of Ngati Porou, Mark Soloman of Ngai Tahu, Tukuroirangi Morgan of Waikato-Tainui and , Sir Archie Taiaroa of Whanganui / Tuwharetoa, as self interested elites.

“The Maori Party is proud to be working closely with iwi so to seek outcomes for whanau and we will continue on that journey,” Mr Flavell said.

ENDS

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