Māori Party co-founder endorses Helen Clark for top UN Job

By Heeni Brown

Dame Tariana Turia has endorsed Helen Clark in her bid for the position as United Nation’s Secretary-General, despite opposition from the Māori Party.

In an interview with Senior Reporter Heeni Brown, Dame Turia said she believed Helen Clark was the right person for the job.

“I do think she is, I do think she’s got all the skills and abilities that we would want in that position, so yes I do. Well I didn’t agree with Helen’s position on the foreshore and seabed. I certainly have had some considerable regard for her.”

The Māori Party has taken a stance against endorsing Clark for the position, claiming it was contradictory of her to apply given the Foreshore and Seabed legislation, the party also called for an apology from Clark.

According to Turia the time for an apology has passed, “Personally I think it’s too late for an apology. I think that the party is probably sorry for the position they took on the Foreshore and Seabed, but I also want to say that if we were going to vote on the grounds of what political parties have done in the past to us, we wouldn’t be voting for any of them Heeni except for Peter Dunn.”

Turia goes on to say, “I’m not saying that I oppose their position, I am saying that they are discussing this in the public arena. Physically I am stating my personal opinion as a person who is pragmatic about these matters and as I said taking into account that all of the political parties apart from Peter Dunn have done things that have acted against our interests as a people.”

When asked if she believed the Māori Party should consider a more pragmatic approach to the issue, Tariana responded; ”Well you know in politics we’re not always pragmatic, I haven’t had a history of being pragmatic at times either. So, I can certainly understand them taking the position that they have because politically there was huge damage in terms of our people and not only that too, it was about the birth of the Māori Party so they stand for something.”

When questioned over how she sees the issue developing in the future Turia said.

“I’ve tried to ring Te Ururoa this morning with no success. But my view is, is we have important issues on our agenda moving into the future not least of all the position that our people are in today and that’s where my focus is."

The interview with Heeni Brown is attached and for more details tune in to Te Kaea at 5:30.