The battle for the Waiariki electorate is in full swing as Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and Tamati Coffey hone in on votes for the seat.
In an interview on the Kawekōrero Reporters programme on Friday, Tamati Coffey was asked if Māori voters in the Waiariki electorate can trust the Labour Party given the Foreshore and Seabed Act and the Tuhoe raids were both initiated under a Labour Government.
Coffey says, “The Foreshore and Seabed was a terrible mistake. There is no Māori MP at the moment that’s sitting in the Labour Party that thinks ‘oh actually that was a great idea’. Ruatoki was terrible as well.”
He says, “We promise to learn from the mistakes of the past.”
But Flavell says, “Maybe they haven’t learnt.”
He says, “The National Party says that no-one owns the water. Labour says everybody owns the water.”
And he points out that the Waitangi Tribunal says “As Māori, we have a property right”.
He says, “Labour hasn’t learnt because they still believe they can take away a right and set conditions about a property right that hasn’t been settled yet.
Advanced voting begins on September 11 and runs until September 22 before the election on September 23.
For more information on when and where to vote, click here.