Māori Party challenged to leave government over Kermadecs

By Heta Gardiner
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The Māori Party is being challenged to walk away from the government over the divide between Māori and the government regarding the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. In an announcement today, Te Ohu Kaimoana will continue taking the government to court over Māori rights to the Kermadecs.

The Māori Party says it's taking a directive from the National Party on the Kermadec marine sanctuary.

Te Kāea asked the Minister of Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell if the Māori Party was backing out.

“Not at the moment. It's still on the discussion table,” said Flavell.

While the Māori Party doesn't support the move, Te Ohu Kaimoana says the Māori Party needs to cut all ties with National. Te Ohu Kaimoana believe the proposed Kermadec marine sanctuary is a confiscation of existing rights.

Mair says, “We have had discussions with the two co-leaders and the president of the Māori Party this morning. We have made it clear to them that this issue is exactly the same as the foreshore and seabed issue.”

If the Green Party pulled its support for this bill, it won't pass.

Green Party MP Marama Davidson says, “Many Māori support this ocean sanctuary as well.”

The government and the Māori Party say they will continue discussing the issue in the hope that both sides can reach an agreement.