Maori Party urged: pick mana or money

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 07:42 17/07/2012

Relevant offers

Politics

Budget 2017: Nine years of spending under National First home buyers question how the Budget helps them Colin Craig's tactics against Rachel MacGregor revealed 'It's not easy' says candidate who withdrew from election race in East Coast Bays Why 16-year-olds aren't ready to vote Former MP John Luxton: National could win fourth term but Winston holds balance of power Election 2017: Pollution and climate change will ravage NZ as long as politicians dodge big questions Labour and Greens split over Budget tax cuts despite joint 'fiscal responsibility' deal $1.6 billion Waterview Connection's mystery opening date a 'few weeks away' Election 2017: Beware the 'Make X Great Again' rhetoric, education's a slow-moving beast

The Maori Party has been challenged to choose between "mana and money" and walk away from its support deal with National over comments by Prime Minister John Key.

Maori Council spokesman Maanu Paul said it was "crunch time" for the party and co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples, who have argued they need to stay at the Cabinet table to make a difference.

Mr Key had suggested the Government would ignore Waitangi Tribunal recommendations from an urgent hearing into water rights.

"You either have mana or you have money," Mr Paul said yesterday

The Maori Party seemed more interested in money.

He called on the co-leaders to "act like Maori" and said they did not represent all Maori but rather a select few party faithful.

Mr Paul said Labour did not want the Maori Party.

"I'm not too sure about whether Green or NZ First would want them . . . and so for them their political life is almost at the OK Corral stage. They're virtually useless at that table."

Mrs Turia and Dr Sharples have refused to commit to staying with National and are due to discuss the issue with Mr Key midweek.

Mr Key said it might be that the two sides had a "permanent disagreement" and agreed to disagree.

He said National and the Maori Party had a good working relationship and it would be unusual to leave the governing relationship simply because he as prime minister had stated the Crown's position.

"We don't believe anyone owns water; we always with good faith look at the rulings from the Waitangi Tribunal but no government in the past has been bound by them," he said.

He said there was a "high probability" of court action following the tribunal hearing.

And he could not rule out a delay to the sale of 49 per cent of Mighty River Power, set down for later this year.

"But certainly we would hope it's not delayed."

The urgent hearing into Maori rights over water will wrap up this week at Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt.

The tribunal will make an interim decision on whether National's partial sale of state-owned energy companies should be halted while the matter is clarified, but its findings are not binding.

Meanwhile, lawyer and Mana Party president Annette Sykes yesterday said Mr Key should either get a law degree or stay out of the debate.

Ms Sykes also had some advice for Mrs Turia and Dr Sharples.

"I beg Tariana, who I've got the hugest respect for, to sit back and reflect and in the spirit of Che Guevara . . . position herself for . . . the rights of our people rather than to take money as a prime minister's friend at the table."

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Where do you stand on political coat-tail riding?

If it gets marginalised voices into Parliament, I'm for it.

I'm against it - if you don't get the votes, you shouldn't be there.

It's just part of the political game.

Vote Result

Related story: Voters reject riding on the coat-tails

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content