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Tamihere To Stand For Maori Party In Tamaki Makaurau

John Tamihere will stand for the Maori Party at this year’s elections.

Tamihere’s candidacy was confirmed at the Mataatua Marae in Mangere yesterday in front of party founders Dame Tariana Turia, Sir Pita Sharples, stalwart Dame Naida Glavish and hundreds of Maori party faithful.

Maori Party Tamaki Makaurau Electorate co-Chair Martin Cooper said Tamihere is an outstanding candidate and the electorate team had plenty of work to do between now and September 19. “You cannot doubt John’s work for Maori in Auckland and across the country,”

Cooper said. “We are very fortunate to have a candidate the calibre of JT.” Tamihere said following a tilt at the Auckland mayoralty – he won over 80,000 votes - the last thing he wanted was to re-enter national politics. He was a Labour MP and Cabinet Minister from 1999-2005. “But when you are misled by the Labour Maori MPs, whose voice has been subdued and silenced, then you have to stand up,” Tamihere said.

“I had no intention to run but was approached by people I respect and given the destruction by stealth by this government over the Whanau Ora programme, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. “My policies will be unashamedly promoting matters Maori.”

Tamihere admitted people would throw the fact that he was once a Labour MP in his face. “I know what a sell-out is. I was one and now can admit I was wrong,” he said. “I believed that with a strong 13 MP Maori caucus, they would have the leverage to advance Maori matters. But they have proven to be sell-outs themselves and just don’t realise it.”

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