Te Ururoa Flavell
Māori Party co-leader
MP for Waiariki
Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says the admission from a Labour candidate that it would only tweak the Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill if it formed the next government shows their opposition to it has been nothing but hot air.
“Labour have huffed and puffed in the House about how bad this bill supposedly is and vowed to scrap it if they become the government. Now they’ve changed their tune. Suddenly this bill is not so bad after all and just needs tinkering,” says Mr Flavell, MP for Waiariki.
“If this was their position all along then why did they waste all that time delaying its passage? Were they full of blow and bluster, or is this another backflip like their belated support of Whānau Ora?”
Labour’s candidate for Waiariki, Tamati Coffey, said in Tuesday night’s electorate debate on Māori Television that it would only tweak the Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill if it came to power after the election.
“Labour’s Maori MPs have stood in the House to slam this bill, but all the while it looks like they were just playing politics. Our whenua is far too precious to be playing games with. We put our people first while politics takes a backseat.
“They need to front up to voters and outline what tweaks they will make and why. While they’re at it they can explain how the land tax that they’ve put on the table will affect Māori land owners.
“I stand by the bill and what it seeks to achieve for Māori land owners. It addresses the inequities in Māori land law which discriminates against Māori land owners, makes it harder to sell Māori land and empowers land owners to make the most of their land.
“It seems that Labour has finally come to its senses and will support putting the decision-making power back in the hands of Māori land owners,” says Mr Flavell.