Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.
“For the third consecutive term, the Māori Party is entering into a supply and confidence arrangement which includes the ACT Party – a party that has campaigned heavily on scrapping the Māori seats.
“National has previously campaigned to get rid of Māori representation. This term it is no longer reliant on the votes of MPs holding Māori seats.
“It comes at a time when there have been calls for a referendum in the Māori seats. That fails to recognise that under the Maori electoral option there is a mechanism every five years for Māori decide whether or not they want this type of representation.
“Labour is committed to retaining the Māori seats and our commitment to our people has been recognised by Māori who elected our MPs in six of the seven Māori electorates.
“We will continue to hold the Government to account on issues that are important to whānau and Iwi. During this Parliamentary term we anticipate that further reforms of the Resource Management Act, the implementation of Te Ture Whenua Māori, Māori Language Legislation and workplace legislation will be areas of interest for Māori.
“Labour will remain vigilant on issues that will negatively affect Māori fight to retain the rights of our people,” Nanaia Mahuta says.