Topics: Elections/Kōwhiri, Politics

Māori Party backing for Māori seats to remain

updated By Leah Te Whata

The Māori Party is urging Māori not to vote for New Zealand First, their reaction to Winston Peters latest bid to abolish the Māori seats.

The Māori Party continue to advocate for the Māori seats to remain.

Māori Party Co-Leader Marama Fox says, "Without the Māori seats great Māori leaders would not have come through to make the changes that they have done."

However, Winston Peters wants the nation to agree on their abolishment, "Today, a majority of those entitled to be on the Māori roll are not, they're on the general roll. Māori don't need the Māori seats, they don't need any more tokenism."

Shane Jones blames the Māori Party, “The Māori seats used to be powerful. The Māori seats have been made useless by the work of the Māori Party.”

The Māori Party aren't taking the challenge lightly.

Fox says, "We're not about moving backwards we're about moving forward and looking at the future and Winston Peters quite frankly, he's out. These guys are simply chasing the pale, stale, male vote."

Shane Jones also extended criticism to the Iwi Chairs Forum, “The politicians in those seats now are under the skirt of the Iwi Leaders Group. The Iwi Leaders group have come and disconcerted the multitudes that they have the answers for us as Māori, no?"

Fox disagrees, "They are representatives of their iwi and their hapū and I do not have a problem working with the Iwi Leaders Forum and the Iwi Chairs Forum. They are not out of touch, go and see what they do with their mahi in looking after our people."

Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan says that Māori should automatically go on the Māori electoral roll and have the option to change.