September 27, 2017
Maori seats not needed
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the election shows how Maori can take their place in parliament without the Maori seats.
While Labour took all seven Maori seats, Mr Peters says that doesn't mean they took all the Maori vote, as party vote figures show.
Labour also has another six Maori MPs in general or list seats.
Five of New Zealand First's MPs have Maori connections.
Mr Peters says what has changed is there is no longer a party in parliament, the Maori Party, that is there for race.
"It really says 'we're special, based on one thing, our race. It doesn't matter if I'm not up to it or not the best person here, I'm special because of my race.' That's very difficult when you are in a political setting to drive forward as an equal when other people know you are there because of the pigeonhole," he says.
Mr Peters says don't blame him for any delay in forming a Government, it's the Electoral Commission which has decided not to count the special votes until October 7.
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