In relation to recent reports that the Māori Party Executive had asked Māori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau electorate to stand down, Piripi Taylor spoke to co-leader of the Māori Party, Te Ururora Flavell.
Te Ururoa Flavell was asked who was behind the idea of Te Hira Paenga possibly standing down as a candidate in Te Tai Tokerau? In response, Waiariki candidate for the Māori Party, Te Ururoa Flavell said it wasn't a request and that they had been talking about the issue for a while now.
Furthermore, Flavell said it had been at least six to eight months since the idea was posed.
Te Ururoa went on to say that this is a contest, so they had discussed strategies such as seeking the youth vote and looking in to general seats.
“Throughout many discussions, this idea was posed, but nothing came of it,” says Te Ururoa Flavell.
When asked who the idea was meant to favour, Te Ururoa said, “Well, it's a contest. The idea was posed firstly because there could have some benefits in it, but nothing came of it in the end.
At the time, we were seeing the problems surrounding the Internet Party and how their actions reflected badly on and belittled the Māori seats, but if we continued to go down that road, we certainly would not have benefited.”
Te Ururoa Flavell went on to refute claims that the initial plan was to oust Hone Harawira.
“No, over the past few months, we have also said that the merger between Kim Dotcom and his party with MANA is belittling, disruptive, and discredits the essence of the Māori seats. That view has been voiced on various marae throughout my travels while seeking feedback for the Māori Party. There were some who thought this type of strategy would be worthwhile, but we decided not to go down that road in the end.”
Some say that due to reports on this issue, the Māori Party may be in trouble.
When asked how Māori Party will survive this, Te Ururoa Flavell said, “Easily. The Māori Party are heading in the right direction. We are sticking to what we believe is right and true. I am not getting sucked into the recent dirty politics floating around at the moment, we are focused on reaching the end in good stead, but perhaps a negative is Hone Harawira attacking the Māori Party in the past weeks.
What he is saying to get rid of the Māori Land Court, and the Waitangi Tribunal, also that the Whānau Ora is sucking out funding for other services and there are much more statements that MANA has come out with. For us of the Māori Party is all that is rubbish, but in regards to this issue, it all depends on the statement made, so it's all rubbish nothing has been confirmed. Tomorrow, Te Hira (Paenga) is representing the Māori Party and we salute him and his efforts, work and bravery over the weeks.”