October 01, 2014
Glavish defends Maori seats
Maori Party president Naida Glavish has rejected any suggestion it's time to axe the Maori seats.
Former Te Tai Tokerau MP Dover Samuels has questioned whether they are still needed to ensure Maori representation now that close to one in six MPs has Maori whakapapa, and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says Maori are voting with their feet by going on the general roll in increasing numbers.
Ms Glavish says six years of gains for Maori achieved by Maori Party Ministers and MPs demonstrates the need for a strong independent voice for tangata whenua not only in Parliament, but at the table of government where the decisions are made and the budgets approved.
She says without the influence of the Maori Party within the government, there would have been no Whanau Ora, no KickStart breakfast programme for school kids, no advances in health, education and housing standards for Maori, and the Maori seats would have been scrapped by National.
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