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Conflict of Interest for ‘Second Cousin’ Ridiculous


MEDIA STATEMENT

The Hon Tariana Turia
Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Te Tai Hauauru
Friday 12 October 2012

Accusations of Conflict of Interest for ‘Second Cousin’ Ridiculous – says Turia

Co-leader of the Māori Party, Tariana Turia, has spoken out about the ‘ridiculous’ accusations levelled at Hekia Parata over a supposed conflict of interest with a ‘second cousin’.

“If Hekia’s whānau is anything like ours, there will be literally hundreds of whanaunga that might be described as a second or third cousin, twice removed – or whatever the correct terminology is” said Mrs Turia.

“This is a cultural chasm, which Chris Hipkins has quite happily fallen into.

“In an English cultural context, systems of "degrees" and "removals" are often used to describe the exact relationship between two relations and the ancestor they have in common.

“Māori tend to focus more on our connections to each other than our distances apart. Whanau Ora is about celebrating all of these connections as being the foundation of our future. Our approach to whakapapa manifests itself in many Māori having strong and intimate relationships with a very wide extended whānau; whereas other New Zealanders tend to be most familiar with the direct ‘first cousins’ - the children of the siblings of their parents”.

“For Chris Hipkins to then manipulate these differences for the point of political point-scoring is questionable – and I’ll be interested to hear what his Māori colleagues have to say about the slur being made against the particular Principal involved (Rangimarie Parata Takurua).

“The facts speak for themselves – the Ministry of Education endorsed the new school, Te Pa o Rakaihautu, in October last year – two whole months before Hekia was appointed the Minister of Education”.

“Let’s be sensible about all this – there are 2548 state schools in New Zealand. The chances of Minister Parata having relations in other schools is extremely high. What does Labour want - for every Minister to disclose a copy of their family tree before they take up a portfolio?”

ENDS

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