10 Nov 2008

Maori have nothing to fear from National, says Te Heuheu

5:32 pm on 10 November 2008

Long serving National MP Georgina Te Heuheu says Maori have nothing to fear from the election of a National Government.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has said the party is keen to form a constructive relationship with the new National Government.

Georgina Te Heuheu told Waatea News the Maori Party should realise that its values align more closely with National's than Labour's.

She said National recognises a momentum has been established in issues such as Treaty settlements, and has been clear during the election campaign that this momentum will be continued by the new government.

The five Maori Party MPs met in Auckland on Sunday to discuss what the party should expect in any agreement, after gaining an extra seat in Parliament, but falling short of securing all seven Maori seats.

The party's co-leaders will meet incoming Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday.

Mrs Turia says she spoke on Saturday evening with Mr Key who said he was keen to form a relationship with her party.

If an agreement is reached between them, she says the Maori Party will organise hui with its supporters.

Mrs Turia said the party is now focused on what it can achieve in its next three years in Parliament.

However, she intends to step down from the party at the end of the next term to focus on her family.