Maori Party proud of achievements

00:56, Nov 24 2011

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is defending her party's achievements over the past three years saying they "kept our word".

The party was proud of the difference it had made, she said,

It has faced criticism for its close relationship with a National Government.

Turia said the party had kept its promises and integrity.

"Judge us on ourselves - not against others who promise big but will never deliver," she said in what appeared to be a thinly-veiled swipe at Hone Harawira.

"The challenges that we face must be ones we face together."

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She said New Zealanders must vote for a self-governing future this Saturday.

She encouraged everyone to vote for a future in which people were proud to call New Zealand home.

"We ask New Zealanders, when they enter the polling booth, to vote in a way which takes us forward."

The country could not continue down a path where people were pitted against each other because of race, class, gender or politics, she said.

All people should be valued and their culture upheld.

"Nationhood is about recognizing the diverse strands that come together, and understanding the traditions, the worldviews and the unique values that the people hold dear to their heart."

Yesterday Turia said non-Maori voters could support the party if they wanted to.

"There has been a lot of non-Maori emailing me and ringing my offices saying that they'd vote for the Maori Party if they could and I'm telling everyone, you can give us your party vote if you want to!"

The Dominion Post