Topics: Elections/Kōwhiri, Politics

Former Māori MP believes Māori seats need to be reviewed

By Dean Nathan

Māori need to conduct their own review of the Māori seats in Parliament.  This from the former Minister of Māori Affairs and Labour MP Dover Samuels, despite the return of all but one of the Māori seats to Labour in this year's election.  But it's a call that doesn't sit well with the Māori Party.

The Māori Party says that the benefits received by Māori, from sitting at the table of government, demonstrates precisely why there is a continued need for an independent Māori voice in Parliament.

According to President of the Māori Party, Naida Glavish, “Let's not forget that the Māori seats were created by our forebears so we could have an independent Māori voice in Parliament, and today we have the stewardship of these seats for our future generations.”

But despite the return of the majority of Māori seats to Labour, Samuels says that it's time to review the Māori seats.

He says, “John Key has put out a hand to assist the Māori Party because he wants the National Party to remain strong in Parliament.  The time has come for us all to have a further discussions about our seats.”

The Māori Party maintains that, only through its relationship within government was it able to persuade the National Party to change its previous policy of ending Māori representation to retaining the seats for as long as Māori see them as necessary. 

It is quite clear that the Labour party would be in a lot more strife following the election if not for the return of the Māori seats to them.

Naida Glavish says, “We must all understand that while standing in a Māori seat we're standing to represent the Māori people and not our respective parties or any other but to stand strong to represent the needs and aspirations of Māori.”

Meanwhile the wait continues for all Māori in Parliament to work together for the betterment of Māori.

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