“Tai Tokerau is now Maori Party territory,” said Hone Harawira, Maori Party Member of Parliament for Te Tai
Tokerau, ”and the polls confirm what we’ve been seeing for months - that Maori have finally shaken off the shackles that Labour has always held over us, and see the Maori Party as their independent voice in parliament."
TVNZ’s Marae-Digipoll conducted between 15 September 2008
and 7 October 2008, has the Maori Party leading by 47% to
35% for Labour (a similar poll in 2005 actually had Labour
leading by 41% to 33% for the Maori Party).
“And that’s the big result for us,” said Harawira,
“because Labour’s been the government for nine years
now, more than enough time to build a positive platform in
the Maori seats, and they’ve actually gone backwards.”
“It’s been an uphill battle too because Labour has
millions of dollars to spend on Maori, and we don’t have
any money, so we have to rely on getting out and talking to
people, knocking on doors, going to hui, selling t-shirts,
and handing out leaflets and newsletters to compete against
the biggest political machine in the country.
“So I tip my hat to the membership for all the work that
they’ve done over the past three years to support me and
spread the word,” said Harawira.
“We’ve always had the biggest Maori Party membership in
the country. This poll confirms it, and sends a clear signal
to Labour and everyone else, that when you come into this
territory you’re walking on Maori Party turf.”