6 Oct 2014

Challenge set for Maori Party

7:28 pm on 6 October 2014

The Maori Party is being challenged to deliver tangible results as it goes into a deal with the National Government for a third term.

The parties signed a relationship accord and confidence and supply agreement yesterday.

John Key and Te Ururoa Flavell.

Prime Minister John Key and Te Ururoa Flavell. Photo: RNZ / Demelza Leslie

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell has three ministerial portfolios - Minister for Māori Development, Whānau Ora and Associate Minister for Economic Development.

The party has come under consistent criticism for its relationship with National. In 2008, its party vote was 2.39 percent, in 2011 that dropped to 1.43, and at last month's election was 1.32 percent.

Te Tai Tokerau and Labour Party MP Kelvin Davis said the agreement should result in some some really tangible benefits for Maoridom, such as an increase in Maori business, employment, improved health outcomes and lower Maori incarceration rates.

Mr Davis said the party can't just promise that Whānau Ora is going to fix everything, because he has not seen any signs of that happening.

Retired National MP Tau Henare said the Associate Minister for Economic Development role is a heavy one.

Mr Henare said places like Rotorua, East Coast and Northland are looking for economic development and if Mr Flavell does not come up with the goods, he believed the Maori Party could be gone in the next election.

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