Labour doesn’t deserve our vote - Tariana Turia
Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that "I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more. I don’t believe they deserve our vote, I don’t believe they deserve the vote of the Pasifika people, because if there's one thing I've noticed since coming through and being a Minister this time, is the very very poor resourcing of all Pasifika health, social services, you name it," she said.
When asked whether she is worried that the Labour party might take a large portion of the Maori Party vote , she said, "I think that our people have to ask themselves that for all the years that Labour were in government, the nine years of plenty, what is it that changed in their lives? What is it that Labour did that made them feel that things had changed for them, and have made a difference?"
Ms Turia denies that a vote for the Maori Party is a vote for National.
"No, a vote for the Maori Party is a vote for a party that is really clear about its intention, and it is to serve the interests of tangata whenua in the first instance, because we believe in doing that we create a great environment for New Zealanders to have a future together."
She says the Maori Party will go with anyone who can form a government, but concedes her party support has been hurt by the relationship with National.
"Only because other politicians portray it as such. When we're out there in the community amongst our people, our people have been really pleased with the gains that we have made."
She says a controversial April 2 Northern Club dinner was about getting people along who had the resource to support the Maori Party.
The fundraiser at the posh members-only club featured John Key as a draw card. Attendees had the option of paying $5000 for a confidential chat with the Prime Minister.
"We've never purported to represent all poor people, because Maori people are on a major scale, so we've got very poor, and we've got very middle class, and so we've always tried to represent all of their interests. When you're fundraising you hardly go to the poor."
Ms Turia says they have had two fundraisers and they asked the people who agreed to come to the dinner who they would like to speak. "Both times they chose John Key."