30 Sep 2014

Call for referendum on Maori seats

7:36 pm on 30 September 2014

A former Labour minister of Maori Affairs is calling for a referendum or poll on whether Maori electorates are still needed in Parliament.

Following the general election earlier this month, six out of the seven seats are now held by Labour MPs and 26 MPs identify themselves as Maori.

Dover Samuels.

Dover Samuels. Photo: Parliament

Dover Samuels said the Maori electorate seats should be retained if that has the support of Maori, but a referendum or poll should take place to see if that is the case.

He said the fact that he thinks the debate should take place does not mean he believes the seats should go.

Mr Samuels said tangata whenua would decide whether the time has come for the abolition of the Maori seats.

He said he was very disappointed by the election results, as there were a number of excellent Maori candidates and believed polling statistics show that the candidates were let down by their own people.

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