Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell has come out strong against Labour leader David Cunliffe’s statement they won’t have the Māori Party in their Government.
“What’s happened to their Vote Positive campaign? Vote Positive – but just not for Māori! This is panic politics – up until now Cunliffe has been positive about working with the Māori Party in Government,” says Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.
“The Labour Party is clearly being pushed into a corner by opposition parties and feeling desperate because the latest polls show its unlikely Labour will have the luxury of forming a Government at all.”
“When Labour get into a tight spot they dump Māori. Look what happened over the infamous Orewa speech ten years ago by Don Brash promoting anti-Māori sentiment. The funding for Māori in the Labour-led Government sector was cut. Labour got scared they would be accused of ‘pandering’ to Māori. So they got rid of Māori focussed programmes,” says Māori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia.
“We think this is a classic Matt McCarten strategy – shock tactics to raise the profile of the Labour Party and to appeal to those that don’t want to have anything to do with an independent Māori political movement.”
“The Māori Party still has an open door – it doesn’t matter if it’s a red brand or a blue brand. Māori voters clearly want an independent Māori voice in Parliament that can be heard – not one that is subsumed by other parties.”
“I am constantly being asked by non-Māori around the country if they can vote for the Māori Party because they support what we are doing and see the benefits for all New Zealanders. The recent Māori Television polls consistently show Māori voters would prefer us to work with Labour – but 67% also support us going with National if they are the dominant player. David Cunliffe is ignoring Māori voters and I would have thought with an election 12 days away he would be smarter than that,” says Te Ururoa Flavell.