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Co-leader of the Maori Party to step down in 2014

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Co-leader of the Maori Party, MP for Te Tai Hauauru and Minister of the Crown, Tariana Turia has confirmed she will be standing down at the next general election in 2014.

Mrs Turia will have spent 18 years in Parliament when she retires in 2014. The Maori Party take this opportunity to thank Mrs Turia for her years of absolute dedication and commitment and acknowledge the huge contribution that she has made to the social and economic well-being not just of Maori but of all New Zealanders. Tariana has played a key role in establishing a strong foundation for the Maori Party. She has been a list member, an electorate MP, an independent MP, a cabinet minister across three terms of parliament, and of course Co-leader of the Maori Party since 10 July 2004.

She has also been able to demonstrate legendary influence across a formidable range of ministerial portfolios : Whanau Ora, Health, Social Development, Maori Affairs, Housing, Community and Voluntary Sector, Corrections, Disability and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. This rich parliamentary experience has been an amazing asset in our formative years and we will always be indebted to Tariana for her wise counsel across so many areas of our work.

Minister Turia says she has signalled early so that the Maori Party can prepare for her departure and put a succession plan in place.

“I have given it serious thought and have made the decision with my family not to seek re-election in 2014. I am looking forward to spending more time with my husband and our mokopuna,” said Mrs Turia.

Maori Party Co-leader, Dr Pita Sharples and Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell understand and support her decision with regret.

“Tariana and I have been a team, we have steered this waka together for the last eight years and it will be a huge change to lose my mate. I totally support her decision and I’m glad she’s going to have more time with her mokos, she deserves it after all the wonderful work she has done. She will be leaving a legacy of opportunity for Maori that she has built up even prior to the days of the Maori Party” says colleague and co-leader of the Maori Party, Dr Sharples.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says Tariana has shown inspiring leadership and an absolute commitment to the philosophy of Whanau Ora.

“We have always upheld the view that we need to do things differently if we want change. It’s a belief that Tariana has always upheld and we hope – a belief that the government, our whanau and communities will also uphold. The Whanau Ora approach is setting the platform for families to take control over their own lives and determine their own futures. Our job now is to build on the legacy that Tariana will leave us, to address the challenges that lie ahead – and to ensure that legacy is strengthened,” said Mr Flavell.

There will be no change to Mrs Turia’s current roles as Minister and Co-leader. There is a media opportunity to interview Mrs Turia about her decision, today at the Auckland Airport at 9.40am, near Door 5/6, Domestic Terminal. Minister Turia will be out of contact for the rest of the day.

Media contact: Makere Edwards 021 221 4950

Background:

Tariana Turia has been a member of Parliament since 1996 first as a list MP for the New Zealand Labour Party.
Mrs Turia was then elected as MP for Te Tai Hauauru for the Labour Party in 2002 but crossed the floor and resigned from the Labour Party in 2004 over the proposed Foreshore and Seabed bill, to seek a fresh mandate from the people. She was then re-elected as the MP for Te Tai Hauauru, under the authority of the Maori Party.

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