Labour could be at risk of losing Māori seats - Māori leaders

Labour is not living up to its promises for Māori and could be at risk of losing Māori seats at the upcoming election, two prominent leaders told TVNZ1's Q+A with Jack Tame.

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Sir Mark Solomon and Merepeka Raukawa-Tait told Jack Tame that Labour isn’t delivering on its promises to Māori and could lose one or more Māori seats in this election. Source: Q+A

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Whānau Ora Commissioning agency chair for the North Island and Sir Mark Soloman, the chair for the South Island, said issues were being raised across the country including with Whānau Ora and Oranga Tamariki. 

"We’ve got a number of Māori seats and certainly an increased number of Māori Members of Parliament in this current Government, and they’re conspicuous by their absence," Ms Raukawa-Tait said. 

"If it’s water, Ihumātao, Whānau Ora, Oranga Tamariki, where are they? Why aren’t they speaking out?"

Sir Mark said the Government was not delivering. 

"There’s lots of rhetoric. You know, 'we will have this relationship', 'we will do this', but we are yet to see the proof of their rhetoric."

He said Labour could potentially lose a Māori seat. Labour currently holds all seven seats. 

Ms Raukawa-Tait said she hoped Labour would lose a seat to make way for "an independent voice for Māori in Parliament". 

"You've got to have a voice for Māori, with Māori in there actually advocating the whole time.

"When you have got mainstream political parties, they will always cater to their core constituency, not for the Māori agenda. And young people are getting impatient, as indeed so they should."

Watch Q+A with Jack Tame on TVNZ1 at 9am Sundays.