February 22, 2017
School compromised by political backdrop
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has slated the Maori and Mana parties for using a Whangarei charter school as a backdrop for a political stunt.
The parties were at Te Kapehu Whetu on Monday to sign an agreement with Mana's only candidate for the Maori seats who would be Hone Harawira in Te Taitokerau, leaving the Maori Party a clear run against Labour in the other six.
Mr Peters says it compromised the school.
"Where's the independence of that school when a political party can use it as a backdrop to provide a crowd for the signing of a document because they couldn't get a crowd by themselves. That school was seriously misused. If it was election time and you were going to the school to talk about your education policy, that's fine, but not in this case," he says.
Mr Peters says the deal is sign of weakness, and the parties can expect some brutal scrutiny over the course of the election campaign.
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