Māori and Pasifika unite under Maori Party banner

By Talisa Kupenga

The Māori Party and the forum of Pacific Nations officially announced their partnership for election 2017 as well as their Pacific immigration policy today. But it was a near no-show for the Māori Party co-leaders.

A celebration of cultural and political ties; late planes to blame for the near no-show by Māori Party Co-leaders.

One Pacific Co-leader and former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Dr Joe Williams says, "It's logical that we go with the Māori Party because we're the same people."

Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell told Te Kāea, “You could say the Pacific has awakened. In the past there was only one horse, now they see there's another horse to back and that's the Māori Party."

It's the first partnership of its kind for any Māori political party. One Pacific wants four slots in the top 10 on the Māori Party list and is gunning for ten percent of the total vote.

“With 10 percent of the party vote we hope we can get at least three Pacific members in Parliament,” Dr Williams says.

Flavell says they are still discussing the issue but today’s focus is about building relationships.

“Today is all about creating the ties we've talked about over the past months and to see how deep this relationship can go. From there we will know who will stand where and other details."

Nine One Pacific candidates have been announced to stand under the Maori party banner, seven have already been endorsed. Those remaining will be announced tomorrow.

Dr Williams says, "the questions that our leaders have been asking is 'what has the Labour Party done for you?' the answer is 'nothing'."

One Pacific candidates are selected by One Pacific and approved to stand by the Māori Party. The immigration announcement looks at an amnesty policy for Pacific families who are already overstayers in New Zealand. 

Pacific group back Māori Party