March 13, 2017
PM: King’s intervention a sign of Maori politics maturing
Prime Minister Bill English says the Maori king's intervention in the election is a sign of the maturing of Maori politics.
King Tuheitia has urged supporters to vote for Maori Party candidate Rahui Papa rather than Labour's Nanaia Mahuta for the Hauraki Waikato seats in September's election.
Mr English says the Labour Party has regarded Maori as a captive vote, but it's not where Maori are now.
"There's a lot of dynamism forward looking or stronger business focus and a lot more stronger sense of self determination rather than relying on the Labour party to protect them, he says.
Bill English says Labour's Maori MPs have had no influence on government for the past nine years, but the Maori Party has given Maori significant influence in decision making.
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