Māori Party meet with Te Tai Hauāuru members to discuss possible partnership with National

By Maiki Sherman

The Māori Party has met with its members from the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate to discussed whether representatives of the Māori Party will sit the the Government's table.

Buff Matenga is the chairman of the Māori Party's Te Tai Hauāuru branch, the seat held by Tariana Turia, the seat the Māori Party lost to Labour.

However, the Māori Party says Labour hasn't achieved anything in the last six years and claims it will be much of the same for the next term. That's why they believe in being at the table.

Te Ururoa Flavell says, “The majority of the Māori Party can see this, but the issue is that some still don't want to listen, so we will continue to take this issue around the country.”

Te Ururoa Flavell is at these meetings outlining the gains in John Key's offer for members to consider.

First is the strengthening and expansion of Whānau Ora. It also includes a strong focus on those in lower socio-economic situations, creating jobs and the Māori economy.  

“There's a connection between economic activity and unemployment, so it's bringing the two together to create success in both areas. It's something John Key is interested in, but bringing that to fruition will be the challenge,” says Te Ururoa Flavell.

Ministerial positions will also be included in the agreement. There's a desire for the portfolios of Māori Affairs and Whānau Ora to remain with the Māori Party. However, Te Ururoa Flavell says it may be broader than that.

“In the past, Tariana (Turia) had around five or six ministerial portfolios, Pita (Sharples) had three, so discussions continue around the best way to create a post that will fit with the goals we want to achieve and with what the PM will agree to,” says Te Ururoa Flavell.

All of this depends also on the special votes being counted as to whether or not Marama Fox will be in on the list. That will determine how sweet or sour the fruits are that will be laid out on the government table.