Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Maori Party conference: 'Now let's get moving'

Maori Party president Pem Bird. File photo / Ben Fraser
Maori Party president Pem Bird. File photo / Ben Fraser

The Maori Party conference finished its conference in Wairarapa today resolved to rebuild and broaden its membership over the next year.

Party president Pem Bird said there had been something of a ''hiatus'' in the party since the 2011 election, when the party lost one of the four seats it held.

"Now let's get moving."

At several points during the hui at Papawai marae in Greytown, members lamented the fact that there was no ''Maori Dotcom" with a large cheque book to fund them.

But if the party was to run a serious party vote campaign, then it needed some ''serious money."

About 70 members attended the hui which endorsed the current leadership team.

Members also backed a resolution to turn over electorate candidate selection to a panel of the president, an MP, two from the electorate concerned and one from another electorate.

Mr Bird said that being at the table of Government was a ''no -brainer.''

He said the Maori Party created a delay in the selling of state-owned assets that allowed stakeholders to assess their respective positions and move accordingly.

"What is clear is that we have always acted honourable in our dealings with the Government. We are proving stable Government without cost to our mana.

"Whether the voter agrees with this is a moot point but we do have time to look at messaging and communications in this pivotal area and begin to rebrand ourselves."

- NZ Herald

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