Māori Party President disappointed at criticism from Turia and Sharples

By Maiki Sherman

Māori Party president Naida Glavish is disappointed at the continued criticism towards Te Ururoa Flavell by the party's former co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia.

Sharples is the latest to offer up his concerns over Flavell's decision as Māori Development Minister to establish an advisory committee tasked with reviewing Sharples' troubled Māori Language Bill.

Naida Glavish says the former Māori Party co-leaders are "throwing stones" at Te Ururoa Flavell and she doesn't know why.  Glavish says there are no internal problems in the Māori Party.

However, as we know in politics, perception is everything and from the outside looking in it seems all is certainly not calm.

Glavish is inspecting a social housing development in Kaitaia, while her mind was on repairing the Māori Party house.

“I have a lot of empathy for the workload that both Tariana (Turia) and Pita (Sharples) left behind for Te Ururoa (Flavell) which he is now having to carry forth. They should be more supportive,” says Glavish.

Pita Sharples has criticised Te Ururoa Flavell's move to establish an advisory committee for Sharples' Māori Language Bill which has copped a lot of criticism itself.

What's more, Tariana Turia had already made known her objection over Te Ururoa Flavell's support of a decision to appoint Te Puni Kōkiri as the funding administrator for Māori Housing.

“It was their decision to leave and it certainly wasn't to throw stones at Te Ururoa who has been left to complete the work they left unfinished,” says Glavish.

Te Kāea spoke to Pita Sharples today but he wasn't available to be interviewed.  However, he did say his objection wasn't a big deal.

Dr Ranginui Walker doesn't agree with that.  He says the entire Māori Party bears the brunt of the criticisms by both Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia.

Walker says, “If they are still active within the party, then they should leave their comments to the management committee and for the AGM.”

The call is for them both to take a step back.

Walker says, “They are both no longer in Parliament and so they have just as much authority as you and I.”

Glavish says, “I'm a bit disappointed, however I am in full support of Te Ururoa.”

There's certainly more work ahead for the president to ensure the Māori Party remains strong.