Youth meet to discuss future political strategies

By Dean Nathan

Wikatana Popata is urging Māori youth across the country to attend a two-day meeting next week to discuss future political strategies. It follows the dismal results for the Mana and Māori parties from the election.

"Next week, we have a two-day meeting in Auckland with youth from across the country to scope out a strategy. There'll be in-depth discussion and this is the challenge to our youth to rise up and be vigilant," says Popata.

It follows the departure of the Māori Party from Parliament and Hone Harawira's loss of the Te Tai Tokerau seat to Labour's Kelvin Davis. The son of NZ First's Shane Jones says he's also disappointed.

"Those who voted didn't support Te Ururoa or Hone (Harawira). This is a sad day.  So who is going to represent the people at home, the Māori children and our people across the country? Youth like me are challenging and supporting our own to strive to achieve Māori independence," says Penetaui Jones.

Election statistics shows that over 120,000 registered Māori voters didn't vote with youth making up a large portion of that.

"We need to change our mind-sets and focus on achieving self-determination through a return to gardening to feed our own people and businesses to raise the economic welfare of the people.  All these types of discussions will be taking place next week," says Popata.

The meeting is expected to take place in Auckland.