Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 07, 2008

Same lists in every electorate

The Electoral Commission has clarified that voters do not need to be on the Maori roll to cast their party vote for the Maori party.

Chief Executive Helena Catt was responding to concerns expressed by Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples that some voters casting an advance vote were told that they could not vote for the Maori Party unless they are on the Maori roll.

“Every voter, whatever electorate you are in has the same choice of parties in the party vote,” Dr Catt says.

Dr Catt says the matter has not previously emerged as a concern in the commission's research or on its web site.


New Zealand First is predicting that MP Ron Mark will win the electorate seat of Rimutaka.

Fellow New Zealand First Maori MP Pita Paraone says this could be critical because winning an electorate seat would mean all of New Zealand First's party vote would be counted even if the party does not pass the 5 percent threshold which he predicts will happen anyway.

“If you consider there seems to be a backlash against Labour and any incumbent government the internal polling shows it is a neck and neck race between Ron and the National candidate with the Labour candidate coming a distant third,” Mr Paraone says.

New Zealand First will be disappointed if it does not get at least 8 MPs in the next parliament.


The Minister of Maori Affairs has paid tribute to the work of master carver Paki Harrison who features in the book Tohunga Whakairo: Paki Harrison launched last night in Tane-nui-arangi, the house he carved 20 years ago for Auckland University's Waipapa marae.

Parekura Horomia says the book by Auckland University emeritus professor Ranginui Walker is a fitting tribute to someone who has been consistent in carrying on a dying art.

“There are people who are consistent. I think Paki, Hector Busby, they have been unflinching in carrying ion a dying art, and making sure it is carried on,” Mr Horomia says.


The Maori Party MP for Te Tai Tokerau is frustrated by media commentators telling people a party vote for the Maori Party is a wasted vote.

Hone Harawira says such analysis ignores the key reason people on both the general and the Maori rolls vote for the Maori Party.

“Yeah I think there's a terrible bias among Pakeha political analysts in that they simply don’t understand how Maori vote. Maori vote for the Maori Party because they believe it’s an opportunity for change. In the same way the Republicans voted for Barak Obama because they wanted change, we want every Maori to have the opportunity to change themselves, the change the vote, to change the world and vote Maori Party,” Mr Harawira says.


Meanwhile New Zealand First is predicting it could receive solid support from Maori as a result of the way leader Winston Peters has been treated by the media.

New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone says many Maori have been upset at seeing a Maori treated as Winston Peters has been and this could see them directing their party vote to New Zealand First.

“We anticipate that they will certainly support us given that like all fair minded New Zealanders the attack our leader has had to suffer over the last 18 months or so, they feel it is an attack on them as well,” Mr Paraone says.

He is predicting that New Zealand First MP Ron Mark will win the electorate seat of Rimutaka meaning all party votes for New Zealand First will count even if the party does not reach the 5 percent threshold.


The Ratana vote will be based on prophecy rather than policy in this election according to a long time member of the church.

The faith is celebrating two significant anniversaries this weekend.

Its 90 years since founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana recieved the spirit and 70 years since Piriwiritua Paraire Karaka Paikea's entered Parliament as the representative for Northern Maori.

Kelly Pene, an Apotoro with the church says its a time for reflection on Ratana's political alliances with these two significant events falling on election day.

“The Ratana vote swung there towards New Zealand First for a little while. The last election there was a heavy swing towards the Maori Party and this election the Maori Party is a favourite for many Ratanas but there is a major push back to Labour due to prophesy more than policy at this stage,” Mr Pene says.

A special hui will be held by Ratana leaders to mark tomorrow's election date.


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