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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Maori Party assesses options

The likelihood that the Maori party won’t do a deal with either National or Labour even if it finds itself with the ability to be king maker after the election has been reinforced by the party's president Whatarangi Winiata.

Professor Winiata says it important the Maori Party talks to all the parties to let them know that the party is firm in its resolve to be a strong, independent and united Maori voice.

“I think we can serve the nation and serve the Maori signatory to the Treaty of Waitangi better as an independent voice and not there to undermine any one. Not that we’re there to support anyone but rather to consider the issues as they arrive and do what we think is best for the nation,” Professor Winiata says.

Party MP's who have suggested coalition are simply exploring ideas.


NUMA, the confederation of national maori urban authorities are building affiliate capacity and have big ambitions for the future.

Executive officer John Tamihere says the organisation has been slowly gaining support, and moves by an arm of Destiny Church to become affiliated to the national body are welcomed.

“We will be in the next five years one of the most powerful confederated organisations in the Maori world but we’re just building that affiliation capacity up, and it’s good that someone like Destiny has finally put their hand up,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says as long as those seeking to join NUMA share the organisation's goal of supporting the needs of Maori living in the cities, they have a role to play.


Tourism Minister Damien O Conner says the mana of New Zealand's tourism industry has been recognised by the country being voted favourite long haul holiday destination by British travelers.

Damien O Connor says that readers of the Observer and Gaurdian newspapers voted New Zealand the top destination reflects the effort put in by the New Zealand tourism industry to provide a world-class experience for tourists.

Twin will reinforce Tourism New Zealand's $7.3 million marketing campaign in the UK launched last month.


The Green Party is hoping that by spelling out who they're prepared to deal with after the general election, more Maori will feel comfortable splitting their votes... and giving the Greens their party vote in the Maori seats.

Metiria Turei, the party's Maori Affairs spokesperson, says many Maori voters can't bring themselves to vote for Labour in the wake of the foreshore and seabed raruraru... but they know the electoral maths means a party vote for the Maori Party may be wasted.

While the Greens have ruled out supporting a National-led government... and would prefer to deal with Labour ... this would require certain conditions being met in post election talks.


Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata who has come out strongly against either a coalition with National or Labour says it is important that this stance is discussed with other parties.

Professor Winiata says the Maori party will be in the strongest position if it remains a strong, independent and united Maori voice in parliament outside of any coalition agreement.

The likelihood that the Maori party could end up as king maker after the election has increased as the gap between National and Labour has narrowed in recent political polls.


Sports commentator Ken Laban says a number of Maori have stepped up and staked their claim to be included in the All Black team to be announced on Sunday to tour the United Kingdom.

Ken Laban says Hosea Gear and Richard Kahui should to be first off the block choices for the All Black's while it is pleasing to see other Maori being recognised.

Laban has been a longtime fan of fellow centre Conrad Smith but he thinks that Richard Kahui's recent performance should make him run on favourite for the position.


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