The Maori Party

Passing the baton to the Minister

November 2021

In the General Election in September 2017 the Māori Party was voted out of Parliament. They gained only 1.18 percent of the party vote, and all seven of the party's Māori electorate candidates were beaten by Labour.

In the 2020 election "Te Pāti Māori" returned to Parliament when Rawiri Waititi won the Waiariki electorate. Although the Māori Party share of the country-wide party vote declined from 1.18% in 2017 to 1.17% in 2020, winning Waiariki gave it the right to bring a second MP into Parliament. As of 2021, the party's two MPs, Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, are also its co-leaders. We reserve our views on the divisive attitude of the two leaders and do not expect any support from them regarding the Direct Deduction Policy.

The party was founded on 7 July 2004 by Tariana Turia. She had been a member of the Labour Party and even held a ministerial post but she quit over the Foreshore & Seabed controversy. She and Pita Sharples became the first co-leaders. The party won four Māori seats in the 2005 election. After the elections of 2008, 2011 and 2014 they supported the National Party which had been their arch enemy until then. The Māori Party co-leaders serves as ministers outside cabinet.

A very diplomatic letter

In August 2008, then Māori Party co-leader Tariana Turia wrote a very diplomatic letter to one of the pensioners supporting our website, leaving us wondering what their stance really is, or if they are so engulfed in their own agendas that they happily forward the baton to the major party in government. The letter says more or less that the pensioner should better ask the Minister of Finance what the Māori Party should think about the issue...

At the time the Māori Party was supporting the Labour-led government. After the election in November 2008 they were somehow sleeping with the enemy by having entered into a coalition with John Key's National Party, supporting policies they would normally not have supported, in exchange for National making big commitments to Māori.

Decide for yourself what you think of this letter:

"The Maori Party believes that our community must make every effort to demonstrate our value for the contribution and continued participation of older people. We consider a current priority should be to review services and facilities needed by the aged and elderly to ensure we protect the special place they have in our society, as repositories of experience and knowledge.

The majority of the letters to us about this issue raise important questions about whether the implementation of the New Zealand Superannuation Amendment Bill is being done in such a way as to abuse the entitlement of the individuals involved.

It would suggest that it would be useful to contact the Minister of Finance directly, Hon Dr Michael Cullen (Editor's note: later Minister of Finance, member of the Labour Party). We believe it is incumbent upon that Minister, given his responsibility for superannuation policy, to respond to you about the proposal to develop a more equitable policy on overseas pensions."

You say it best when you say nothing at all...

When we contacted the Māori Party in 2016, the then-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox wrote in a letter, dated 30.11.2016:

"We have had ongoing issues with this bill and are in negotiations with the Minister to remove some references in the bill [= NZ first's Pro Rata Bill] we are not happy with. We have read a number of submissions including those you reference, which assists us in our considerations."

Whatever the issues were.

(Last update: 23.11.2021)