Pem Bird new Maori Party president (Waatea News)

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The new Maori Party President, Pem Bird, says the party is in for the long haul, even if at time members have strong differences of opinion.

The kura kaupapa principal from Ngati Awa took over from Whatarangi Winiata at the party’s annual conference in Hastings over the weekend.

He says the party has never been more relevant.

In terms of article three of the treaty, equality of citizenship, were nowhere near there. We want to create solutions for ourselves and be responsible for taking charge of our own destinies and to the richness of this countrys heritage, our heritage, our political heritage, and doing a heck of a lot better than weve done before, Mr Bird says.

While the hui was dominated by debate over whether the party should continue to support the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, Pem Bird says the focus needs to be on picking up the remaining two Maori seats a the next election.

(Source | Waatea)

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is my personal opinion only, as I feel the Pakeha do look down on the Maori, and no matter what they say or do, they are only doing it for themselves to strengthen their positions.
    I reckon Maori should be guaranteed 50% of all parlimant seats, without conditions. Maori should hold Immigration, Land sales, Armed forces and few other major portfolios. Maori should not associte with wars overseas, as if you take part, you are only assisting the Pakeha to do what they did to you.
    Apparently, I also feel the Treaty of Waitangi is a farce, drawn up to protect the pakeha, when they couldnt win the war against the Maori. You just have to look around the world to see the ‘Europeans” were out to murder and plunder other peoples wealth, with no regard to the people of that land. One other important factor is, Maori have to change the attitude of asking the parkeha, you don’t ask. You tell them, because this will than put the ball in their court. Any abuse of the Maori people should mean instant deportation….no matter who they are or how many generations they have lived here……but all this can happen ONLY if Maori unit!!!!

  2. There will be much media attention focusing on the so called split within the Maori Party, however to my mind, that is normal debate, sometimes torrid and hurtful at the time, but never the less cleansing,and honest with no hidden subterfuge and pretense. While there are media commentators, and journalists who consider that naive, and are offering advice of “stage management”, and not allowing the media in. I applsud the Maori Party’s decision to allow the media to come in and bear wtiness, warts and all. It is a mark of Maori leadership far superior to the norm, which one does not observerve in the other political parties, and anyone who reads Tariana’s speech at the conference, can not help but admire her principles, her values, her loyalty to Matua Winiata as he g uided the Maori Party through these early years. It What is worrying, if the differences grow to such proprotions that the Maori Party disintegrates and loses faith with our people, to such an extent that our people are disillusioned. It matters not that Hone has an extremely strong view, he is representing his electorate.Faciliating the differences to an agreed psoition is of vital importance.

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