Topic: Politics

Māori Party founder Dame Tariana Turia plans to return to save the party

By Leah Te Whata

A change of mood from disappointment to optimism for the Māori Party with news of the return of Dame Tariana Turia. 

Dame Tariana Turia says, "I'm going to be working alongside a whole lot of people actually who have called me since the election to say that they are being very pro-active, that they want to start bringing people together to start coordinating a whole range of activities."

Names like Dr Lance O'Sullivan and Shane Taurima have been suggested as potential replacements for Te Ururoa Flavell. Dame Tariana says  the Māori Party should take this chance to regroup and realign its values.

"It was really good to be accountable back to our people and I believe that we did that really well."

This comes after questions around the nature of the Māori Party's relationship with National.

Turia says, "When we first went into Parliament, Matua Whatarangi Winiata said to us, 'If you want to be of any benefit to Māori people, whether you like the government or not, you have to sit at the government table'. It doesn't matter who they are but you have got a responsibility to our people."

Former Māori Party President Pem Bird told Te Kāea that the party will conduct a comprehensive review of their campaign strategy and focus on infrastructure and leadership in order to regenerate support.