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Tour aims to encourage Maori youth enrol, vote

Monday 18 August 2008

”ENROL MAORI, VOTE MAORI” That’s the message from the organisers of the “MAORI SIDE TOUR”. Soon to start in September, the tour aims to encourage our youth to take an active role in the political future of Aotearoa, New Zealand and has been devised as a way of engaging Rangatahi Māori in the furore, through showcasing some of Māoridoms musical talent.

The “Māori side Tour” is the brainchild of tv presenter and musician, Kimo Winiata. Kimo says “Rangatahi Māori are naturally into music and what better vehicle for encouraging Youth participation in politics than sounds with a Māori flavour”.

It’s no secret that Māori participation rates are low when it comes voting, and approx one out of every 3 young Maori between the ages of 18 – 25 are still not registered to vote. The Young Māori Party are looking to team up with the electoral commission to help target Māori Youth throughout the tour - to get 18-25 years olds in particular onto the roll.

Kimo says “Its one thing to be enrolled - it’s another to get our people out to vote. If every Māori person enrolled 5 people in their whanau, we could finally see the balance of power shift in parliament towards Māori interests”.

The “Māori side Tour” will travel through 6 of the 7 Māori Electorates and starts in Hamilton at the ALTITUDE BAR on Friday the 12th of September. This first gig features frontliners HOUSE OF SHEM and CORNERSTONE ROOTS, as well as NATIVE SONS and ANATONIO. The tour then moves through to ROTORUA at the Lake House Hotel on the 13th. The tour ventures to the big smoke of AUCKLAND at the Carlton Bar Newmarket on Friday the 19th - where it is joined by the sultry sounds of MISS BLACK and the hip-hop master DJ POROUFESSOR. Then continuing up to WHANGAREI on the 20th, the Onerahi Tavern will be rocked by the previous artists, as well as the SONS OF ZION. On the 26th at Latitude Live, NAPIER will go off to HOPE ROAD, NGA MOREHU AND DAVE GRACE, and MATIU TE HUKI will join the tour at the Loaded Hog in LEVIN on the 27th of September.

Although it is a massive undertaking, Kimo believes it will be worth it, “Māori Rangatahi deserve to have a voice in Politics. Why let other political parties shape our realities. The main kaupapa (issue) on this tour is to raise political awareness amongst 18-25 years about enrolling, voting and realising we have a say in our future. Rangatahi Māori know where its at - there’s only one independent Māori voice in parliament - and it belongs to us”.

The Māori Party MPs and candidates will be looking to take an active role in the ‘Māori Side Tour’ in their own electorate.

For more information on ticket prices and the artist line-up for each region visit www.maorisidetour.bebo.com


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