November 02, 2014
Maori Party confirms Fox co-leader
The Maori Party has emerged from its weekend AGM in Whangaehu with a new co-leader and new officials to guide it over the next three years.
Marama Fox, the party’s first list MP, was elected female co-leader, replacing party founder Tariana Turia.
She said Mrs Turia, who retired at the election, inspired her by crossing the floor on the Foreshore and Seabed Act.
Vice presidents Ken Mair and Donna Gardiner stepped down, to be replaced by Health Hawkes Bay PHO deputy chair Bayden Barber in the male position and Hauraki Waikato candidate Susan Cullen as female vice president.
The party’s relationship with National and its effect on the election result was the subject of considerable debate.
Ms Fox defended the decision to work with National, saying it did not prevent the Maori Party advocating for Maori self-determination and rangatiratanga.
But Te Tai Hauauru chair Buff Matenga says the use of Prime Minister John Key and former National PM Jenny Shipley in fundraising dinners had sent the wrong message, allowing rival parties to claim that a vote for the Maori Party was a vote for National.
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