10 November 2016 MEDIA STATEMENT
The Māori Party’s pretence of being an independent voice for Māori is a sham and it’s clear their agenda is a neoliberal one that aligns with their National Government masters, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.
“While all eyes were on the US Election, the Māori Party cut a deal with National yesterday to pass the massively unpopular Resource Management Act (RMA) reforms.
“These reforms have been opposed by submitters including Local Government New Zealand, many regional and district councils, all environmental NGOs, the New Zealand Law Society, and numerous others.
“National’s little helpers also voted against Labour’s smart plan to abolish Charter schools.
“The Māori Party supports private partnership schools that divert resources away from the vast majority of kids attending public schools and were cooked up as part of a deal between National and ACT.
“This comes after the Māori Party voted with National earlier this year to pave the way for the sale of up to 8000 Housing New Zealand properties, in the middle of a housing crisis disproportionately affecting Māori.
“Meanwhile, Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell is pushing ahead with controversial Māori land reforms, which have been widely slammed by the Waitangi Tribunal, Māori Land Court judges and the vast majority of submitters to select committee.
“Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox like to claim wins for Māori by bragging about being at the table but they’re just propping up the National Government that sees increasing inequality and decreasing prosperity for our people.
“The Māori Party has a confidence and supply agreement with National and yet there doesn’t seem to be much payback. They have a neoliberal agenda concerned with privatisation and empowering a corporate elite.
“Labour has the potential to have the highest number of Māori MPs in cabinet and voters who see through the Māori Party’s empty claims of being an independent voice for Māori will send them a strong message at our next election,” says Meka Whaitiri.