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'True Colours Coming Through'

'True Colours Coming Through'
Hon Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party
11th November 2011

With two weeks to go, the views of political leaders about the Maori vote are revealing themselves, says Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

“Yesterday on Radio NZ, Phil Goff suddenly remembered the importance of the Maori vote, making out that “we need a strong Labour presence in Parliament to make sure that the interests of the Maori community are looked after”.

“Problem is, his own Maori MPs and potentials cannot point to one policy that is driven by Maori. There is nothing to indicate that the Labour presence –as seen in their opening address and advertisements - will be inclusive of tangata whenua, even though Maori, Pasifika and Asian are the fastest growing populations”.

“Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana was an astute man. He asked for so little and yet even today in 2011, the Labour presence has never delivered on the kawenata they signed up to”

“And then on a live chat on Stuff today, Hone Harawira, in talking about the Maori seats, said “I will win mine and Annette will win hers, and I don’t care who gets the rest”.

“The Mana leader is known for not beating around the bush – so for the ‘the rest” of the Maori seats – Te Tai Tonga, Te Tai Hauauru, Tamaki Makaurau, Ikaroa Rawhiti and Hauraki Waikato – that’s a clear signal that Mana doesn’t care about those constituencies”.

“And then we’ve got Don Brash and Winston Peters, both vying for the same crowded airspace, in pushing the 'one law for all' message again, as a way of trying to gain traction on their popularist campaigning around “separatism and racial division” or the so-called “legal privileges currently associated with being Maori”.

“Labour has ditched the Maori vote; Mana has ditched most of the Maori electorate vote; and Act and NZ First want to ditch the unique status of Maori and blend everyone into a homogeneous ‘Kiwi’.

“Our message to Aotearoa is ‘our whanau, our future’. Demographic change will affect all New Zealanders and in particular our increasing cultural diversity will have a profound impact on our future workforce and economy.

“Culture counts – and the Maori Party is proud to stand on a banner which is about celebrating diversity, and working to achieve a more inclusive society. Perhaps the real test at the ballot box will be to ask the question – which party will help us to prepare best for our future?.

© Scoop Media

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