Maori Party Co-leader, Tariana Turia, has spoken up to correct some of the loose comments being widely shared by National List MP, Tau Henare.
“The Speaker of the House is an extremely significant role, which demands the gravitas and decorum appropriate to the status of that position. A good Speaker earns the respect of other parties right across the House”.
“The convention is that the Government approaches other parties with the names of preferred candidates. We were told, unequivocally, that there was no support for Mr Henare from his colleagues in the National Party. We were also told that there was uncertainty from other parties. Under these circumstances, we felt it was unlikely that Mr Henare’s bid for the Speaker role would be successful and it was appropriate to let him know this.
“Mr Henare is right – when he first approached us many months ago, we supported him to put his hand up. He is a seasoned politician, with a very proud political whakapapa, and we will always support Maori to take up leadership positions in every sphere of influence.
“But as we all know, politics is about the numbers. It just doesn’t make sense for Mr Henare to blame our three votes, or sheet home all responsibility to our three MPs. You would think the first place to look, would be amongst his 58 colleagues before he decides to make our party the prime reason for his failure to garner support”.
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