October 05, 2017
Slim pickings at table Maori Party sealed fate
Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern says the Maori Party’s long term relationship with National was a significant factor behind its electoral defeat.
Labour won all seven Maori seats in the election, ending the Maori Party’s 12-year parliamentary run including three terms as part of a National-led Government.
Ms Ardern says Labour put up excellent candidates and campaigned on issues that Maori voters were concerned about. It now needs to deliver to Maori voters in a way the Maori Party could not.
"There was an expectation I think that by being around the table they would have been able to deliver more for people's day to day lives on housing – appalling rates of Maori home ownership now – on health, on employment. In those areas that truly matter there just weren't the gains and so I think that is what played out in those seats too," she says.
Jacinda Ardern will this afternoon meet New Zealand First leader Winston Peters for preparatory talks about whether they can form a coalition.
The talks will begin in earnest once the 380,000 special votes are counted on Saturday.
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