Topics: Land, Politics

Whaitiri challenges Flavell to Ture Whenua debate

By Talisa Kupenga
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Labour's Ikaroa Rāwhiti MP is seeking a thunderous debate with The Māori Party shark for calling herself and opponents of his Ture Whenua Māori Land Bill reforms 'liars'. Meka Whaitiri says Te Ururoa Flavell should show some backbone but will he front up?

Name calling by the Minister of Māori Affairs that won't fly with Meka Whaitiri.

"I don't tell fibs. This kaupapa [ is too important to get wrong to make things up."

Whaitiri wants a public face-off with Te Ururoa Flavell after he blamed landowner confusion around his Māori Land reforms on lies he says she told.

Flavell told Te Kāea last week "she says they're confused. Eh, they're confused because of the lies she's told.”

Whaitiri: Landowners not at the heart of Te Ture Whenua Māori 

But Whaitiri says these so-called lies came from the Minister's own facts and figures, his speeches in-house, as well as submissions, to select committee and the Te Puni Kokiri website.

"I'm actually happy to do it in his own electorate of Waiariki to actually debate the positives of this bill and to justify why he is pushing it though the house without the full mandate of Māori land owners."

But will Flavell take up the challenge?

He says “I don't see anything coming from us doing this between ourselves and it's better to leave this for the elections."

It seems not.