Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two tick strategy wasteful folly

Prime Minister Helen Clark says the Maori party's two ticks strategy does not make any sense and if Maori want a Labour-led government they should give their vote to Labour.

Helen Clark says overwhelmingly Maori are saying they want a Labour led government and the way to ensure that happens is for Maori to vote so Labour is in a position to form a government.

“I don't think the two tick strategy makes a lot of sense for them because there’s never been any sign that the Maori Party could go over 65 percent so giving the Maori Party a party vote is a vote that could have got to Labour to put it in a strong position vis a vis National so no I don’t think that makes a lot of sense to run two ticks for the Maori Party.

“It makes a lot of sense for Labour. We are a large party. We can be the largest party on the party vorte, as we have been for the past three elections, and we win a lot of electorates including Maori electorates,” Ms Clark says.

She told Radio Waatea News this morning she has seen a big mood change in the country with the international financial crisis and a surge of support for Labour from people who don't see it as a good time to change horses.


Meanwhile the Maori party is being told by many non-Maori that they will be giving them their party vote because they believe in the party's philosophy.

Reacting strongly to suggestions by ACT leader Rodney Hide that it would be dangerous if the Party ended up as king Maker after the election, because people will ask why a party they could not vote for should determine who governs.

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says the party's kaupapa is universal.

“We have shown in the lat three years of Parliament that we are a very responsible political party to a degree where we are having lots of Pakeha people email us and call us to tell us that based on that they believe that they will give their party vote to the Maori Party because we are one of the few parties that have an integrity and treat other people with respect and focus on the issues rather than the personalities,” Mrs Turia says.

If the Maori party wins all seven Maori seats as she predicts they will have done so because people have voted for them and they will have the right to determine who governs.


A new study aims to find ways Maori women could benefit from tikanga Maori focused maternity services.

The Eru Pomare Research Centre is conducting a study into unequal health services of Maori and non-Maori women particularly in the maternity area.
Researcher Sarah-Jane Payne says the study will examine the hospital records of mothers and their babies over the next year looking at the 9 months of pregnancy, birth procedures and post-natal care.

“ An important part of the overall study is developing resources for Maori patients, their whanau and communities, based on the findings. One of the resources that we developed for the maternity project may have a focus on what Maori providers are available for women, giving Maori women a range of options for them to choose during their pregnancy to enable a good pregnancy for them and their baby,” Dr Payne says.

The findings of the study will be available around March 2009.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says abolishing parental limits for student allowances will benefit many Maori.

She says it is ridiculous that a student whose family on the average wage of $45,700 has their allowance reduced.

“Think back to the 1990s when under National Maori unemployment reached 25 percent. That wasn’t because Maori didn’t want to work. Maori desperately wanted to work. Create the opportunity and you get Maori unemployment down as we have. So I think it’s the same with student allowances, if we can send them the message that every young person who has got potential should take that potential all the way, and we are going to relieve the burden on them and their family, I think that’s a really powerful message,” Ms Clark says.

She says the country must invest in its people because it needs more educated and skilled people.


The Prime Minister's comments have been endorsed by a Maori graduate.
Duke Boon, from Ngati Maniapoto, has finished his degree but is still paying off his student loan.

He says Maori students whose parents work usually don't qualify for assistance under the current rules. They have had to borrow just to live... and will benefit from the change.

“If you look at student loans, you will see that 70 to 80 percent of that is made up of people having to borrow $150 a week for living costs, so to be able to have a basic universal student allowance starting from 2012 will benefit Maori and Pacific families greatly,” Mr Boon says.

He says phasing the scheme in takes account of the present economic crisis... and if it were truly an election bribe it would have kicked in immediately irrespective of the financial implications.

Under the plan announced by Helen Clark yesterday the parental income threshold slowly rises year by year, until it is abolished in 2012... affecting around 50,000 students.


The Maori Party has reacted angrily to suggestions by ACT leader Rodney Hide that it would be dangerous if the ethnically based Maori Party ends up King Maker after the election.

Yesterday Act leader Rodney Hide told Waatea News that while the country was lucky the Maori party had acted in the interests of New Zealand, if the party is in the position of King Maker people will ask, how a party they could not vote for has ended up deciding whether there is a Labour or National government.

However Maori Party co-leader Turiana Turia says Mr Hide is just playing a political game knowing that ACT will never be in the position of deciding who will govern.

“We are not an ethnically based political party. The word Maori means natural, and that’s the name of our party and our kaupapa, while they are sources philosophically within our tikanga, in Maori tikanga, they are in fact universal philosophies no different to those of the Labour Party having their philosophies, ACT, National having theirs etc,” Mrs Turia says.

She is disappointed Rodney Hide has raised the ethnicity issue.


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