10 Jul 2008

Maori Party stands behind Fox despite allegations

4:59 pm on 10 July 2008

The Maori Party is standing behind its candidate, Derek Fox, despite serious allegations being made about his past.

Mr Fox is contesting the Ikaroa-Rawhiti seat which is currently held by the Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia.

The Maori Party has acknowledged allegations that Mr Fox was involved in incidents of violence against women.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says the party recognises that the allegations are of a very serious nature, and acknowledges the harm that comes from violence.

Ms Turia says the claims are from a long time ago and is satisfied that they have been addressed.

She says Mr Fox has enormous potential to make a significant contribution to Parliament and it is the party's responsibility to support him as he moves forward.

In a statement, Mr Fox says he has done some things in the past that he regrets, and he takes responsibility for his "unacceptable behaviour".

Mr Fox says all of this happened a long time ago, and he has since surrendered himself to the authorities.