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Maori Party

Maori Party

Overview
The Māori Party, a political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, was formed on 7 July 2004. The Party is guided by eight constitutional "kaupapa", or Party objectives. Tariana Turia
Tariana Turia
Tariana Turia is a New Zealand politician. She gained considerable prominence during the foreshore and seabed controversy, and eventually broke with her party as a result...

 formed the Māori Party after resigning from the Labour Party
New Zealand Labour Party
The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. It describes itself as centre-left and socially progressive and has been one of the two primary parties of New Zealand politics since 1935....

 where she had been a Cabinet
New Zealand Cabinet
The Cabinet of New Zealand functions as the policy and decision-making body of the executive branch within the New Zealand government system...

 Minister in the Fifth Labour-led Government
Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand
The Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand between 10 December 1999 and 19 November 2008.-Overview:The fourth National government, in power since 1990, was widely unpopular by 1999, with much of the public antagonised by a series of free-market economic reforms,...

. She and Pita Sharples
Pita Sharples
Pita Russell Sharples, CBE, , a Māori academic and politician, currently co-leads the Māori Party. He currently is the member for Tamaki Makaurau in New Zealand's Parliament.-Early life:...

, a high-profile academic, became co-Leaders. After the 2008 election
New Zealand general election, 2008
The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand parliament. The conservative National Party, headed by its Parliamentary leader John Key, won a plurality of votes and seats, ending 9 years of government dominated by the social...

, the Party supported the National-led government, and Turia and Sharples became ministers outside of cabinet.

The foreshore and seabed controversy
New Zealand foreshore and seabed controversy
The New Zealand foreshore and seabed controversy is a debate in the politics of New Zealand. It concerns the ownership of the country's foreshore and seabed, with many Māori groups claiming that Māori have a rightful claim to title. These claims are based around historical possession and the Treaty...

, a debate about whether Māori have legitimate claim to ownership of part or all of New Zealand's foreshore and seabed
Seabed
The seabed is the bottom of the ocean.- Ocean structure :Most of the oceans have a common structure, created by common physical phenomena, mainly from tectonic movement, and sediment from various sources...

, became the catalyst for setting up the Māori Party.

The Māori Party believes:
  • Māori owned the foreshore and seabed before British colonisation;
  • The Treaty of Waitangi
    Treaty of Waitangi
    The Treaty of Waitangi is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand....

     made no specific mention of foreshore or seabed;
  • No-one has subsequently purchased or otherwise acquired the foreshore or the seabed; and
  • Māori should therefore still own the seabed and the foreshore today.


A court judgement stated that some Māori appeared to have the right to seek formal ownership of a specific portion of seabed in the Marlborough Sounds
Marlborough Sounds
The Marlborough Sounds are an extensive network of sea-drowned valleys created by a combination of land subsidence and rising sea levels at the north of the South Island of New Zealand...

.
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Encyclopedia
The Māori Party, a political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, was formed on 7 July 2004. The Party is guided by eight constitutional "kaupapa", or Party objectives. Tariana Turia
Tariana Turia
Tariana Turia is a New Zealand politician. She gained considerable prominence during the foreshore and seabed controversy, and eventually broke with her party as a result...

 formed the Māori Party after resigning from the Labour Party
New Zealand Labour Party
The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. It describes itself as centre-left and socially progressive and has been one of the two primary parties of New Zealand politics since 1935....

 where she had been a Cabinet
New Zealand Cabinet
The Cabinet of New Zealand functions as the policy and decision-making body of the executive branch within the New Zealand government system...

 Minister in the Fifth Labour-led Government
Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand
The Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand between 10 December 1999 and 19 November 2008.-Overview:The fourth National government, in power since 1990, was widely unpopular by 1999, with much of the public antagonised by a series of free-market economic reforms,...

. She and Pita Sharples
Pita Sharples
Pita Russell Sharples, CBE, , a Māori academic and politician, currently co-leads the Māori Party. He currently is the member for Tamaki Makaurau in New Zealand's Parliament.-Early life:...

, a high-profile academic, became co-Leaders. After the 2008 election
New Zealand general election, 2008
The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand parliament. The conservative National Party, headed by its Parliamentary leader John Key, won a plurality of votes and seats, ending 9 years of government dominated by the social...

, the Party supported the National-led government, and Turia and Sharples became ministers outside of cabinet.

Formation


The foreshore and seabed controversy
New Zealand foreshore and seabed controversy
The New Zealand foreshore and seabed controversy is a debate in the politics of New Zealand. It concerns the ownership of the country's foreshore and seabed, with many Māori groups claiming that Māori have a rightful claim to title. These claims are based around historical possession and the Treaty...

, a debate about whether Māori have legitimate claim to ownership of part or all of New Zealand's foreshore and seabed
Seabed
The seabed is the bottom of the ocean.- Ocean structure :Most of the oceans have a common structure, created by common physical phenomena, mainly from tectonic movement, and sediment from various sources...

, became the catalyst for setting up the Māori Party.

The Māori Party believes:
  • Māori owned the foreshore and seabed before British colonisation;
  • The Treaty of Waitangi
    Treaty of Waitangi
    The Treaty of Waitangi is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand....

     made no specific mention of foreshore or seabed;
  • No-one has subsequently purchased or otherwise acquired the foreshore or the seabed; and
  • Māori should therefore still own the seabed and the foreshore today.


A court judgement stated that some Māori appeared to have the right to seek formal ownership of a specific portion of seabed in the Marlborough Sounds
Marlborough Sounds
The Marlborough Sounds are an extensive network of sea-drowned valleys created by a combination of land subsidence and rising sea levels at the north of the South Island of New Zealand...

. This prospect alarmed many sectors of New Zealand society, however, and the Labour Party
New Zealand Labour Party
The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. It describes itself as centre-left and socially progressive and has been one of the two primary parties of New Zealand politics since 1935....

 foreshadowed legislation in favour of state ownership instead. This angered many Māori, including many of Labour's Māori MPs. Two MPs representing Māori electorates, Tariana Turia
Tariana Turia
Tariana Turia is a New Zealand politician. She gained considerable prominence during the foreshore and seabed controversy, and eventually broke with her party as a result...

 and Nanaia Mahuta
Nanaia Mahuta
Nanaia Cybelle Mahuta BA, MA in social anthropology, is a New Zealand politician and was a cabinet minister in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand. She was Minister of Customs, Minister of Local Government, Minister of Youth Development, Associate Minister for the Environment and Associate...

, announced an intent to vote against the legislation.

Turia, a junior minister, once informed that voting against the government would appear "incompatible" with holding ministerial rank, announced on April 30, 2004 her intention to resign from the Labour Party. Her resignation took effect on May 17, and she left parliament until she won a by-election in her Te Tai Hauauru seat
Te Tai Hauauru by-election 2004
The Te Tai Hauauru by-election was a by-election in the New Zealand electorate of Te Tai Hauāuru, one of the Māori seats. The date set for the by-election was 10 July 2004...

 two months later.

After leaving the Labour Party, Turia, subsequently joined by Sharples, began organizing a new political party. They and their supporters agreed that the new organization would simply use the name of "the Māori Party". They chose a logo of black and red — traditional Māori colours — incorporating a koru
Koru
The koru is a spiral shape based on the shape of a new unfurling silver fern frond and symbolizing new life, growth, strength and peace. It is an integral symbol in Māori art, carving and tattoos...

 design, also traditional.

The leaders of the Māori Party have indicated that they wish to unite "all Māori" into a single political movement.

Philosophy


The Party supports:
  • the upholding of indigenous values
  • compulsory "heritage studies" in schools

Policies

  • Māori ownership of the foreshore and the seabed
  • Retirement age for Māori to be reduced to 60
  • Tax reductions
  • Teaching of Māori and Pacific history in schools

2005 election


In 2005 election
New Zealand general election, 2005
The 2005 New Zealand general election held on 17 September 2005 determined the composition of the 48th New Zealand Parliament. No party won a majority in the unicameral House of Representatives, but the Labour Party of Prime Minister Helen Clark secured two more seats than nearest rival, the...

, the party won four out of seven Māori seats and 2.12% of the party vote. This entitled the Māori Party to 3 list seats, so the fourth electorate seat became an overhang seat. Tariana Turia held Te Tai Hauauru; Pita Sharples
Pita Sharples
Pita Russell Sharples, CBE, , a Māori academic and politician, currently co-leads the Māori Party. He currently is the member for Tamaki Makaurau in New Zealand's Parliament.-Early life:...

 won the Tamaki Makaurau
Tamaki Makaurau
Tāmaki Makaurau is a New Zealand Parliamentary Māori electorate returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. From 1999 to 2002 the seat was called Hauraki....

 electorate; Hone Harawira
Hone Harawira
Hone Pani Tamati Waka Nene Harawira is a New Zealand Māori activist and parliamentarian. He was elected to the Parliament of New Zealand for the Māori electorate of Te Tai Tokerau in the 2005 general election as the Māori Party candidate. His resignation caused the Te Tai Tokerau by-election, held...

, son of Titewhai Harawira, won Te Tai Tokerau
Te Tai Tokerau
Te Tai Tokerau is a New Zealand Parliamentary Māori electorate. Since 2005, it has been held by MP Hone Harawira. A by-election was held in this seat due to Harawira's resignation from Parliament...

; and Te Ururoa Flavell
Te Ururoa Flavell
Te Ururoa James William Ben Flavell is a New Zealand politician and serves as a member of the New Zealand Parliament.-Ancestry:...

 won Waiariki
Waiariki (New Zealand electorate)
Waiariki is a New Zealand Parliamentary Māori electorate.It is currently held by Te Ururoa Flavell MP.-Population Centres:The electorate includes the following population centres:* Tauranga* Whakatane* Rotorua* Taupo-Tribal Areas:...

.

In the post-election period the Māori Party convened a series of hui
Hui (Maori assembly)
A hui is a New Zealand term for a social gathering or assembly.Originally a Māori language word, it was used by Europeans as early as 1846 when referring to Māori gatherings - but is now increasingly used in New Zealand English to describe events that are not exclusively Māori....

 to decide whether to support Labour or National
New Zealand National Party
The New Zealand National Party is the largest party in the New Zealand House of Representatives and in November 2008 formed a minority government with support from three minor parties.-Policies:...

, though some party leaders have indicated they prefer to deal with Labour. That day, however, Turia and Prime Minister
Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealand's head of government consequent on being the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in the Parliament of New Zealand...

 Helen Clark
Helen Clark
Helen Elizabeth Clark, ONZ is a New Zealand political figure who was the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008...

 met privately and ruled out a formal coalition. Coupled with the support of the Greens
Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is a political party that has seats in the New Zealand parliament. It focuses firstly on environmentalism, arguing that all other aspects of humanity will cease to be of concern if there is no environment to sustain it...

 and Progressives
New Zealand Progressive Party
Jim Anderton's Progressive Party , is a New Zealand political party generally somewhat to the left of its ally, the Labour Party....

, Māori Party support would have given Clark just enough support to govern without the support of other parties. However, in the end, no deal was done and the Māori Party stayed in Opposition, citing that they were not prepared to compromise their positions.

Gerry Brownlee, Deputy Leader of the National Party
New Zealand National Party
The New Zealand National Party is the largest party in the New Zealand House of Representatives and in November 2008 formed a minority government with support from three minor parties.-Policies:...

 claimed after the election that both Labour
New Zealand Labour Party
The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. It describes itself as centre-left and socially progressive and has been one of the two primary parties of New Zealand politics since 1935....

 and National could rely on "57 seats" out of the 62 required in the 2005 election to govern. This implied that National had received support from United Future [3], Act [2] and the Māori Party [4] in addition to National's own 49 seats. Brash himself later supported this statement and claimed he had witnesses to it. This came after the National Party tried to woo the Māori Party in attempts to both see if a coalition arrangement was feasible and to counter any attempts which may have been made by Helen Clark. Tariana Turia denied this claim.

Rātana pā


On 24 January 2006 the Māori Party's four MPs were jointly welcomed to the Rātana pā
Ratana pa
Rātana pā is a town in the North Island of New Zealand, near Wanganui and Marton in the Manawatu-Wanganui region, which developed around the Ratana church there. It is a site of pilgrimage for the Maori followers of the Ratana faith...

 with the Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Opposition (New Zealand)
The Leader of the Opposition in New Zealand is the politician who, at least in theory, commands the support of the non-government bloc of members in the New Zealand Parliament. In the debating chamber the Leader of the Opposition sits directly opposite the Prime Minister...

 and leader of the National Party, Don Brash, together with his delegation of eight MPs. They were originally intended to be welcomed on half an hour apart but agreed to be welcomed and sit together. Turia disputed claims that this was pre-arranged, saying: "We're here for a birthday. We're not here for politics."

However critics said this would have reminded onlookers of how the Māori Party and National were said to be in coalition or confidence and supply talks. This may also have served to reinforce the Labour Party's election campaign statement that a 'vote for the Māori Party is a vote for National'. One Ratana kaumatua (elder) said this was deliberate and deserved after the talks.

2008 election


In the 2008 general election
New Zealand general election, 2008
The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand parliament. The conservative National Party, headed by its Parliamentary leader John Key, won a plurality of votes and seats, ending 9 years of government dominated by the social...

 the Maori Party retained all four of the seats it won in 2005, and also won an additional seat, after Rahui Katene
Rahui Katene
Rahui Katene is a New Zealand politician. She was elected to the 49th New Zealand Parliament at the 2008 general election representing the Māori Party in the seat of Te Tai Tonga, but lost in the 2011 general election to Labour's Rino Tirikatene.- Ancestry :...

 won Te Tai Tonga
Te Tai Tonga
Te Tai Tonga is a New Zealand Parliamentary Māori electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. The current MP for Te Tai Tonga is Rino Tirikatene of the Labour Party, who in 2011 defeated Rahui Katene of the Māori Party, who won the seat in 2008.Te Tai...

 from Labour.

The Maori Party's share of the party vote remained low, at 2.39%. The Labour Party won the party vote by a large majority in every Maori electorate, meaning that the typical Maori voter had split their vote, voting for a Maori Party candidate with their electorate vote and the Labour Party with their party vote.

The National Party
New Zealand National Party
The New Zealand National Party is the largest party in the New Zealand House of Representatives and in November 2008 formed a minority government with support from three minor parties.-Policies:...

 won the most seats overall and formed a minority government
Minority government
A minority government or a minority cabinet is a cabinet of a parliamentary system formed when a political party or coalition of parties does not have a majority of overall seats in the parliament but is sworn into government to break a Hung Parliament election result. It is also known as a...

 with the support of the Maori Party as well as ACT New Zealand and United Future. Sharples was given the Minister of Maori Affairs
Minister of Maori Affairs
The Minister of Māori Affairs is the minister of the New Zealand government with broad responsibility for government policy towards Māori, the first inhabitants of New Zealand. The current Minister of Māori Affairs is Dr. Pita Sharples.-Role:...

 portfolio and also became an Associate Minister of Corrections and Associate Minister of Education. Turia became Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment.

Electoral results (2005-2011)

Election # of candidates nominated (electorate/list) # of seats won # of party votes % of popular vote
2005
New Zealand general election, 2005
The 2005 New Zealand general election held on 17 September 2005 determined the composition of the 48th New Zealand Parliament. No party won a majority in the unicameral House of Representatives, but the Labour Party of Prime Minister Helen Clark secured two more seats than nearest rival, the...

42 / 51
4
48,263
2.12%
2008
New Zealand general election, 2008
The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand parliament. The conservative National Party, headed by its Parliamentary leader John Key, won a plurality of votes and seats, ending 9 years of government dominated by the social...

7 / 19
5
55,980
2.39%
2011
New Zealand general election, 2011
The 2011 New Zealand general election on Saturday 26 November 2011 determined the membership of the 50th New Zealand Parliament.One hundred and twenty-one MPs were elected to the New Zealand House of Representatives, 70 from single-member electorates, including one overhang seat, and 51 from party...

11 / 17
3
1.4%

See also


  • Maori Party's Caucus and Maori Party MPs' responsibilities
  • Māori protest movement
    Maori protest movement
    The Māori protest movement is a broad indigenous rights movement in New Zealand. While this movement has existed since Europeans first colonised New Zealand its modern form emerged in the early 1970s and has focused on issues such as the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori land rights, the Māori language and...



External links