September 21, 2014
Maori MPs range across all parties
The Maori Party is set to again be part of Government, despite Saturday’s election giving Prime Minister John Key enough National MPs to govern alone.
Leader Te Ururoa Flavell held his Waiariki seat by a 3000 vote majority over Labour’s Rawiri Waititi, with Mana’s Annette Sykes another 500 votes behind.
The party secured enough party votes for Ikaroa Rawhiti candidate Marama Fox to join Mr Flavell in the House,
Being an MP qualifies her to replace Tariana Turia as female co-leader.
Mr Flavell could be given the Maori Affairs portfolio, despite National now having seven MPs of Maori descent in its ranks.
Dr Shane Reti retained Whangarei for National and the party won enough list seats to bring in Ngai Tahu Runanga member Nuk Korako.
Denise Roche just scraped back, joining Metiria Turei and Dave Clendon as the Greens’ Maori caucus.
That means New Zealand First has a higher proportion of Maori MPs, with leader Winston Peters joined by old hands Pita Paraone and Ron Mark and newcomer Fletcher Tabuteau.
Mr Paraone says he’s looking forward returning as an MP, which will allow him to have an input into areas like the proposed rewrite of Te Ture Whenua Maori Land Act.
"On a matter that’s closer to home to me there's the Tuhoronuku-Ngati Hine issues around the treaty settlements, to ensure that the views of both the parties are articulated to the minister, because I'm nut sure whether in fact the minister is getting a clear view of those who have a contrary view to Tuhoronuku," he says.
The final election totals will be known by October 4.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com