Politics: Future of Maori seats.
Mana and the Maori Party are raising the alarm about the future of the Maori seats.
Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says his party’s support for National had protected the seats, but if the next Government included the Conservatives and New Zealand First, they could be at risk.
He says Mana’s plan to allow the Internet Party to coat tail its way into parliament if Hone Harawira retains Te Tai Tokerau makes it harder to defend the seats.
Mana candidate Annette Sykes says not only does National want to get rid of the Maori seats, but the Waitangi Tribunal and the Maori Land Court are also under threat.
She says the recent practice of appointing judges to the court on temporary one-year warrants is creating concern in legal circles.
National’s Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Maori Affairs policies released last week are silent on the future of the Waitangi Tribunal after historic claims are settled.
It does refer to its intention to reform Te Ture Whenua Maori Act to improve the governance and productivity of Maori land.
Prime Minister John Key last month seemingly ruled out acting on National’s policy of dropping the Maori seats, saying to do so would rip the country apart and there would be ‘hikois from hell’.