Cunliffe goes to Samoan Easter service

Last updated 05:00 21/04/2014
Fairfax NZ
DAVID CUNLIFFE: Labour leader.

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Labour leader David Cunliffe attended a Samoan church service last night, as the party ramps up its efforts to woo the Pasifika vote.

After an Easter Sunday service in Mangere, Cunliffe addressed more than 3000 people at the Samoan Assembly of God National Easter Conference.

Labour is making a concerted effort to target voters in electorates including Mangere, Manurewa and Manukau East ahead of September's general election.

Cunliffe said his message was mainly about poverty and closing the income gap, which he believed would resonate in South Auckland. "These are folks who are not seeing anything out of the so-called rock star economy," he said.

"I don't take the Pacific vote for granted and we will work very hard for it. I don't think there is any evidence of any significant migration away from Labour."

National is also aware of the untapped vote and has stepped up its efforts. Cabinet minister Judith Collins notably attended a large Samoan Catholic mass.

Cunliffe rejected criticism he was moving the party too far to the Left for many conservative Pacific Islanders. "Labour is a broad church and we are founded on the same values that they hold dear."

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- Fairfax Media


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