Future of Maori Party come together

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The Maori Party is gearing up for a nation wide wanangathis weekend of 70 young Maori from all four winds of Aotearoa.

And it is not only the youths who are expected to be inspired.

“They say the old inspire the young but we actually think it will be the other way around,” Maori Party co-leaders Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples said. “We think these young folk will have a lot to say that will remind us of why we are in Parliament.”

The main purpose of the wananga was to get the youths to develop a policy that addresses major issues facing their generation.

Our youth are amazingly intelligent and understand the spaces and places they inhabit. We as the Maori Party will listen to ensure we reflect their aspirations and voices and provide the vehicle for change in our communities, said Tina Porou (Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Porou, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Ngati Kahungunu), who will be facilitating the wananga with Stephen Te Moni (Te Arawa).

This wananga is a catalyst for that change.

Ngaruawahia-based Cherie Kurarangi-Sweeney, the young woman behind a speak out against child abuse campaign, will be a guest speaker at the wananga.

“The voices of our youth are no longer gathering in traditional places, they are in the chat rooms, using social networking and creating movements that reflect the issues that drive and impact their everyday lives, we need to be part of that movement.

“We invited Cherie because she has been successful in creating an online movement of 10,000 Maori people and New Zealanders for a kaupapa that is close to all of our hearts, said Tina.

About 10 youths are expected from each of the seven Maori electorate areas, including several from Christchurch and as far north as Pukenui in the Tai Tokerau. Among them will be students, teenage parents, academics, tradespeople, hip hop dancers and choreographers and Maori language tutors.

The wananga will be held at Ruamata Marae in Rotorua. It will also see the rangatahi go head to head with the Maori Party co-leaders Tariana Turia, Dr Pita Sharples and MPs Te Ururoa Flavell and Rahui Katene in a debate on Saturday.

Media contact: Renee Kiriona-Ritete 021 917 796

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