Cliff Curtis denies Mana support
Actor Cliff Curtis denies he is endorsing the Mana Movement this election, saying he remains "absolutely apolitical".
Mana released a statement yesterday saying Curtis was one of several celebrities who would appear at the launch of Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes' campaign today to lend their support.
"A key goal for Mana this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and win Waiariki," Sykes said.
"To help with this we've got Maisey Rika, Cliff Curtis, and our Mana youth ambassador, Wairangi Koopu, all lending their support for the launch and the wider campaign."
But Curtis today clarified his position, saying that "while I respect my cousin Annette Sykes' commitment in engaging in the political process, I do not endorse or support any political party".
While he had respect for all those standing for public office there had been a "misunderstanding about my supposed attendance at the Mana launch in Rotorua today", Curtis said.
"My priority in life is my whanau, followed by my work as an artist, which has blessed me with the ability to provide opportunities working with others to advance the wellbeing of Maori. My politics centre around whanau, whenua and wairua (family, the environment and spiritual wellbeing).
"I believe in collaboration, which is why I work with others to make positive contributions of consequence, and why I have made a very clear and unwavering commitment to remain absolutely apolitical."
The star of films including The Dark Horse and Once Were Warriors said he would vote in the coming election "based on the party and policies which I believe best reflect the needs of my whanau and community".
"This decision will remain absolutely private to me. I encourage all eligible New Zealand voters to do the same and to participate and to be informed on all relevant political parties and policies before casting their vote in the coming general election."