5 Feb 2011

National and Maori Party will talk after election - Key

5:15 pm on 5 February 2011

Prime Minister John Key says the National Party will talk to the Maori Party if it is in a position to do so, after the November election.

He made the comment during a speech on Te Tii Marae at Waitangi on Saturday.

He also talked about his relationship with the Maori Party, saying progress on the likes of Treaty settlements and the seabed and foreshore issue would not have happened if the two had not been in a support arrangement.

Mr Key also urged Maori to look forward, rather than being stuck in the past.

He later indicated to reporters that he was referring to Maori Party MP Hone Harawira and his supporters.

Mr Key said as a country, New Zealand must focus on the health and education of future generations, and not stay stuck in the past.

He said anger over issues such as treaty settlements and the foreshore and seabed is not constructive, and that there should be more concern about getting more Maori children through school, and leaving with a good education.

In response, Mr Harawira said it is Mr Key who should be focussed on lifting the educational standards of Maori.