Election 2014

7 Oct 2008

Maori Party would seek more influence after election

12:23 pm on 7 October 2008

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the party would expect budget responsibilities if it was to enter a coalition agreement after the election.

The party's MPs and candidates joined bands and dance groups at its campaign launch in the Frankton Markets in Hamilton on 4 October.

Later in the day the party held its AGM at the Te Rapa racecourse.

Ms Turia says while the Maori Party has enjoyed its independence over the past three years, it is seeking to have influence with whoever forms the next government.

She says the party could work with National or Labour, but would expect budget responsibilities as part of a coalition agreement.

Ms Turia says the focus of the party's election campaign will be on face-to-face contact with voters, and encouraging more Maori to enrol to vote.

The Maori Party is aiming to win all seven Maori seats at the election, and to take about 8% of the party vote.

At the 2005 election the party won four seats, and 2.12% of the party vote.

Co-leader Pita Sharples told the crowd the Maori Party is a crucial link between hapu and iwi, and Parliament.

He says if people are tired of the current government, they need to change their vote.