“Voters seeking better environmental protections, stronger regulations around the exploitation of natural resources, a preference for sustainable, renewable energy pathways and a fairer, more just society should seriously consider voting for the Māori Party,” said Mr Morgan.
“We are not just about or for Māori. We are a party for everyone and anyone who is concerned about unrestrained development and short term profits at the expense of the environment.
“Māori have been kaitiaki of the environment for nearly a thousand years. For the last 150 years we have largely been relegated to bystander status and the environment has been the clear loser.
“For Māori, the environment is what nourishes us, it represents all that we are. We are inseparable from it. It is no surprise that when we lost our land, our health and wellbeing declined too.
“Waikato and many other river iwi have a whakatauki ‘ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au - I am the river and the river is me.’
“We want New Zealanders to see that Māori values – indigenous values – offer an alternative approach to the never-ending quest for greater productivity and efficiencies of scale.
“That approach has resulted in an economy that produces more and more ‘product’, yet supports fewer and fewer people on the land. That approach has created our dependence on commodities and the vagaries of the international market.
“I want those voters thinking of voting for the Green Party, not just the Māori ones – and a large number of them are Māori – but Pakeha voters too, to see that Māori values are at their core, green values.
“Yes, we have other kaupapa,” said Mr Morgan.
“We want to nourish and protect our reo and strengthen our culture. These things are what make New Zealand so special – and what overseas visitors increasingly want to experience.
“To paraphrase ‘there is no ‘kiwi’ without ‘iwi.’
“We want to give our young people the best start in life. We want better health and housing outcomes.
“All New Zealanders want these things for their children. All New Zealanders can help us to achieve these things. What is good for Māori is good for New Zealand.
“And no, like many New Zealanders we don’t want to have to compete with foreigners to buy land and watch our water being shipped offshore for vast profits.
“We must think smarter and for the longer term.
“It is a damning indictment on our political priorities that we even need an independent ‘green party.’
“When the Green Party talks of wanting to clean up our rivers, we know of what they speak. Many of us remember only too well what those rivers used to be like – we may have lived in towns and cities but when we went home to our marae and kainga, we always gave thanks to our tupuna awa – our ancestral rivers. Now, we weep for them.
“The major parties seem to have relegated green policies to secondary status. The Māori Party are the rightful inheritors of the authentic, genuine green vote,” said Mr Morgan.