Te Ururoa Flavell
Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell from Rotorua has
given a passionate speech to his party vowing to "smash" this
election and show everyone the party is here to stay.
Mr Flavell gave the speech at the party's official campaign
launch and 10th birthday celebrations at Te Papaiouru Marae,
Ohinemutu, in Rotorua on yesterday.
He told the crowd what the party achieved in the last 10
years was amazing, but the next 10 would be even better.
He paid tribute to founding and outgoing leader Tariana
Turia, saying they would never stop acknowledging her.
"We started because of you. You were to be the sharp edge of
the axe, you were the one who lit the fire, you lifted the
hearts of the many, both Maori and Pakeha under the cloak of
He addressed the critics who tried to count the party out or
kill them off.
"And let's be clear. The Maori Party is not going anywhere .
. . Brace yourself Aotearoa, I repeat, the Maori Party and
its supporters are here to stay and we're a force to be
He said party members had been planning and building like
"Maori Ninja's operating in stealth mode", designing their
party for the future, policies for the future - and we are
now ready to accelerate, and take our people with us."
He acknowledged the "fresh" new line-up of candidates
standing in September's election.
"I am really excited, because each of our people represents
what the Maori Party is all about. They are dynamic, they are
fresh, energetic and they are Maori."
After running through the new candidates, he referred to
"And of course, I need no introduction, I will be leading our
party standing in Waiariki and I declare again, Waiariki is
Maori Party turf."
He said Whanau Ora was the cornerstone of the Maori Party's
philosophy and he listed several pledges the Maori Party
aimed to achieve.
They included to:
- Lift the minimum wage, in line with the living wage.
- Lift free health care to include children up to 18 years of
- Establish warrants of fitness for all rental houses, state
owned and privately owned
- Get free public transport for all low income whanau,
children aged 18 years and under, and students.
- Eradicate family violence and violence against tamariki.
He ended his speech by addressing retiring Ms Turia and Pita
"A future without both of you right there in Parliament with
me, it's going to be a massive change. It's going to be hard.
But together, we have built a party that we can be proud of.
We have built a new and fresh team - who will take us
forward. We have built a fresh new vision for the party
moving into the future. I know that the next part of our
journey will be safe, because our waka was cast in the right
direction, and has been buoyed by safe and steady hands for
the last 10 years."
- By the Rotorua Daily Post