POLITICS

The Treaty in the House

Monday 13 October 2008, 2:06PM
By Hone Harawira
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“The Treaty has always been a cornerstone in my life,”
said Hone Harawira, Maori Party Member of Parliament for Te
Tai Tokerau, ”and I ain’t surprised to see that it’s
also the most important issue for people in the north.”

TVNZ’s Marae-Digipoll conducted between 15 September 2008
and 7 October 2008, listed Maori/Treaty Issues, education,
health, family issues and house prices as the five most
important issues for Maori voters in the Tai Tokerau
Electorate.

“The Tai Tokerau is the home of the Treaty, and Maori up
here will always want an MP who stands by the Treaty, and
that’s a clear point of difference between us and
Labour,” said Harawira. “Labour voted to delete the
Treaty of Waitangi from all legislation, and every time we
tried to put the Treaty into legislation, Labour voted it
down.

“And Labour’s betrayal of the Treaty is clearly
recognised by voters in Tai Tokerau who have given the Maori
Party a 47% to 35% lead over Labour, one month out from the
election (last election it was Labour 41% over Maori 33%).

“Labour’s demotion in the polls is also punishment for
their abysmal showing in other areas as well,” said
Harawira.

“Take education for example - after nine years in
government, nearly 50% of all Maori kids are still leaving
school without any qualifications at all. That’s a record
to be ashamed of.”

“In terms of Health, government could immediately put a
stop to 2,000 Maori people dying every year from cancer by
banning the production and sale of tobacco, but they choose
to let people die so they can gather tobacco tax.

“As far as family issues are concerned, government has
chosen not to take GST-off-food even though 80% of all New
Zealanders want it, because the government is worried about
their being too much paperwork.”

“In terms of housing, this government has overseen the
greatest rise in house prices in the history of this country
and taken home ownership out of reach for most Maori
families, and forced Maori out of homes through mortgagee
sales without any consideration to government’s
obligations to its Maori citizens.

“Actually, given that record I’m surprised to see how
many people are still fooled by Labour,” said Harawira.
“Good to see that the people of Tai Tokerau can see it for
what it is.”