|Founded||7 July 2004|
|Colors||Black, red and white|
|MPs in the House of Representatives|
The M?ori Party (M?ori: Te P?ti M?ori) is a political party in New Zealand advocating indigenous rights and centre-left policies. It contests the M?ori electorates, in which its main rival is the centre-left Labour Party.
Tariana Turia founded the M?ori Party in 2004 after resigning from the governing Labour Party, in which she served as a minister, over the foreshore and seabed ownership controversy. She and Pita Sharples, a high-profile academic, became the first co-leaders. The party won four M?ori seats in the 2005 election and went into Opposition. After the 2008, 2011 and 2014 elections, where the party won five, three and two M?ori seats respectively, it supported a government led by the centre-right National Party, with the M?ori Party co-leaders serving as ministers outside cabinet.
The M?ori Party failed to win seats in the 2017 election, but at the 2020 election, the party returned to Parliament when Rawiri Waititi won the Waiariki electorate. Although the M?ori Party share of the country-wide party vote declined from 1.18% in 2017 to 1.17% in 2020, winning Waiariki gave it the right to bring a second MP into Parliament. As of 2021 , the party's two MPs, Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, are also its co-leaders.
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M?ori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. Increasingly since the beginning of colonisation, the group has been marginalised and is now a minority within New Zealand alongside Pacific Islanders. In providing an independent M?ori voice, the M?ori Party's focus on affordable housing, M?ori recruitment into tertiary institutes and a living wage for all workers is based on the premise that M?ori are among the low-socio economic communities in New Zealand who are the most disadvantaged when it comes to national inequality.
The M?ori Party was formed in response to the 2004 foreshore and seabed controversy, a debate about whether M?ori have legitimate claim to ownership of part or all of New Zealand's foreshore and seabed. Tariana Turia resigned as a member of parliament for the Labour Party to form a party that would give M?ori an independent voice from the two major parties. The party believed that:
The kaupapa (policy) of the M?ori Party includes four primary principles:
These principles enable the M?ori Party to be held accountable for the maintenance and furthering of M?ori concepts in the decision-making process. These concepts are not reflected in the traditional Westminster system and M?ori customary law is excluded from the New Zealand general legal system. The M?ori Party aims to advance the status of M?ori people by advocating policies that restore M?ori cultural foundations to New Zealand's political system by providing an independent M?ori voice.
Several key party policies have included:
The Maori Party called for a Joint Task force between the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and Police targeting right-wing extremists and rising anti-Maori hate speech following a YouTube Video featuring a masked man calling for the slaughter of Maoris and for a civil war, the video was later pulled down by YouTube for a breech of its policies. In a tweet by The Maori Party it said that the video contained threats against its' Members of Parliament, Marae and Maori.  Police arrested a man after Police received multiple complaints about the video and a day after the Maori Party laid a complaint with the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA).  A 44 year old male was charged with making an objectionable publication. 
In the complaint to the IPCA the Maori Party accused the Police of having double standards when it came to responding to death threats made against Pakeha and Maori  comparing the Police response to death threats made against National Party MP Simeon Brown. Maori Party Co-Leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer stated that they were more than disappointed by the Police's response to their complaint saying "Communication and response time was inadequate, the police have continued to minimise the nature of the threat against us and our people".
The M?ori Party's origins can be traced back to the 2004 foreshore and seabed controversy, a debate about whether the M?ori have legitimate claim to ownership of part or all of New Zealand's foreshore and seabed, that arose during the Fifth Labour Government. A court judgement stated that some M?ori appeared to have the right to seek formal ownership of a specific portion of seabed in the Marlborough Sounds. This prospect alarmed many sectors of New Zealand society however, and the Labour Party foreshadowed legislation in favour of state ownership instead. This angered many M?ori, including many of Labour's M?ori MPs. Two MPs representing M?ori electorates, Tariana Turia and Nanaia Mahuta, announced an intent to vote against the legislation.
Turia, a junior minister, after being informed that voting against the government would appear "incompatible" with holding ministerial rank, announced on 30 April 2004 her intention to resign from the Labour Party. Her resignation took effect on 17 May, and she left parliament until she won a by-election in her Te Tai Hauauru seat two months later. After leaving the Labour Party, Turia, later joined by Sharples, began organizing a new political party. They and their supporters agreed that the new organisation would simply use the name of "the M?ori Party". They chose a logo of black and red - traditional M?ori colours - incorporating a koru design, also traditional. The leaders of the M?ori Party indicated that they wished to unite "all M?ori" into a single political movement. The party was formally established on 7 July 2004.
In the 2005 election, the M?ori Party won four out of seven M?ori seats and 2.12% of the party vote. The latter entitled the party to only three list seats, so the fourth electorate seat caused an overhang seat. In the election night count, the party vote share was under 2% and the M?ori Party would have got two overhang seats; when the overhang was reduced to one, National lost a list seat that they appeared to have won on election night. Tariana Turia held Te Tai Hauauru; Pita Sharples won the Tamaki Makaurau electorate; Hone Harawira, son of Titewhai Harawira, won Te Tai Tokerau; and Te Ururoa Flavell won Waiariki.
In the post-election period the M?ori Party convened a series of hui to decide whether to support Labour or National, though some party leaders indicated they preferred to deal with Labour. That day, however, Turia and Prime Minister Helen Clark met privately and ruled out a formal coalition. Coupled with the support of the New Zealand First, Greens and Progressives, M?ori Party support would have given Clark just enough support to govern without the support of other parties. However, in the end, no deal was done and the M?ori Party stayed in Opposition, citing that they were not prepared to compromise their positions.
Gerry Brownlee, Deputy Leader of the National Party, claimed after the election that Labour and National each could rely on "57 seats" out of the 62 required in the 2005 election to govern. This implied that National had received support from United Future (3), Act (2) and the M?ori Party (4) in addition to National's own 49 seats. Brash himself later supported this statement and claimed he had witnesses to it. This came after the National Party tried to woo the M?ori Party in attempts to both see if a coalition arrangement was feasible and to counter any attempts which may have been made by Helen Clark. Tariana Turia denied this claim.
On 24 January 2006 the M?ori Party's four MPs were jointly welcomed to R?tana p? with the leader of the National Party, Don Brash, together with his delegation of eight MPs. They had been intended to be welcomed on half an hour apart but agreed to be welcomed and sit together. Turia disputed claims that this was pre-arranged, saying: "We're here for a birthday. We're not here for politics." However critics said this would have reminded onlookers of how the M?ori Party and National were said to be in coalition or confidence and supply talks. This may also have served to reinforce the Labour Party's election campaign statement that a 'vote for the M?ori Party is a vote for National'. One Ratana kaumatua (elder) said this was deliberate and deserved after the talks.
In the 2008 general election the M?ori Party retained all four of the seats it won in 2005, and won an additional seat, when Rahui Katene won Te Tai Tonga from Labour. Two seats were overhang seats. The party's share of the party vote rose slightly to 2.39%. The Labour Party won the party vote by a large majority in every M?ori electorate, meaning that the typical M?ori voter had split their vote, voting for a M?ori Party candidate with their electorate vote and the Labour Party with their party vote.
The National Party won the most seats overall and formed a minority government with the support of the M?ori Party, ACT New Zealand and United Future. Sharples was given the Minister of M?ori Affairs portfolio and became an Associate Minister of Corrections and Associate Minister of Education. Turia became Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment. Hone Harawira was critical of the alliance with the National Party and was suspended from the M?ori Party in February 2011. He left the party and formed the radical left-wing Mana Party in April 2011.
In the 2011 general election the M?ori Party was reduced from five seats to three, as the party vote split between it and Harawira's Mana Party. The M?ori Party won three electorate seats. With 1.43% of the party vote, the party was entitled to two seats, resulting in an overhang of one seat. The three MPs were Pita Sharples in T?maki Makaurau, Tariana Turia in Te Tai Hau?uru and Te Ururoa Flavell in Wai?riki. Rahui Katene lost the Te Tai Tonga seat to Labour's Rino Tirikatene, and Hone Harawira won the Te Tai Tokerau seat for the Mana Party. The National Party again formed a minority government with the support of the M?ori Party, ACT New Zealand and United Future. Pita Sharples again became Minister of M?ori Affairs, and Sharples and Turia were ministers outside cabinet. With the retirement of Pita Sharples in 2014, Te Ururoa Flavell became the male co-leader of the party. Tariana Turia also retired in 2014.
Final results from the 2014 general election gave the M?ori Party two seats in Parliament. Te Ururoa Flavell won the Wai?riki electorate seat, and the party was entitled to one further list seat (to be occupied by the next person on the party list, Marama Fox) as they received 1.32% of the party vote.
Prior to the 2017 general election, the M?ori Party formed an electoral pact with the Mana Movement leader and former M?ori Party MP Hone Harawira. The M?ori Party agreed not to contest Te Tai Tokerau as part of a deal to regain the M?ori electorates from the Labour Party. During the 2017 election on 23 September, the Maori Party failed to take any seats, with Labour capturing all seven of the M?ori electorates. Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell expressed sadness at the loss of seats and announced he would be resigning from politics. Fellow co-leader Marama Fox expressed bitterness at the party's defeat, remarking that New Zealand had chosen to return to the "age of colonization" and attacked the two major parties, National and Labour, for their alleged paternalism towards M?ori. Fox commented that M?ori have "gone back like a beaten wife to the abuser" in regards to Labour's sweep of the M?ori seats.
The party announced John Tamihere as its candidate for the T?maki Makaurau electorate in March 2020. Tamihere had held the electorate from 2002 to 2005, but for the Labour Party. He had also run for Mayor of Auckland in 2019 without success. Tamihere's mayoral campaign was more right-wing, and he said the M?ori Party could happily work with the National Party. This contradicted M?ori Party President Che Wilson, who had set out a clear preference to work with Labour and had said "if we ever do talk to National it will have to be a big deal for us to move that way again."
At the 2020 general election, held in October, the M?ori Party's Rawiri Waititi captured the Waiariki electorate, defeating Labour MP Tamati Coffey by a margin of 836 votes. This allowed the M?ori Party to enter Parliament, and with its party vote of 1.2%, it was entitled to two MPs. After Waititi, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer entered Parliament as the highest-ranked person on the party list.
Under the M?ori Party's constitution, its co-leaders must be drawn from its MPs first, and one must be female and one male. As the only male M?ori Party MP, Waititi replaced Tamihere as a co-leader.
On 11 November, former party co-leader Tamihere requested a vote recount in the M?ori electorates of T?maki Makaurau and Te Tai Hau?uru, alleging M?ori voters had encountered discrimination during the 2020 election. Tamihere claimed that the recount was intended to expose discriminatory laws such as the five-yearly M?ori Electoral Option (which limited the ability of M?ori to switch between the general and M?ori rolls for a period five years). He also alleged longer wait times for M?ori voters at election booths and some M?ori not being allowed to vote on the M?ori roll.
On 26 November, M?ori Party MPs Waititi and Ngarewa-Packer walked out of Parliament after the Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard did not allow them to speak due to parliamentary procedures limiting the speaking time by smaller parties. Waititi had attempted to pass a motion that their party leaders be allowed to give a 15 minute "address in reply" but Mallard had blocked the motion on the grounds that MPs from smaller parties were not scheduled to give their maiden speeches until the following week. Waititi described Mallard's decision as unfair while Ngarewa-Packer claimed that this was "another example of the M?ori voice being silenced and ignored."
On 12 April 2021, the Electoral Commission referred the M?ori Party to the Police for failing to disclose about NZ$320,000 worth of donations within the retired timeframe. These donations came from several individuals and organisations including former party co-leader Tamihere (NZ$158,223.72), the Urban M?ori Authority (NZ$48,879.85), and the Aotearoa Te Kahu Limited Partnership (NZ$120,000). Party President Che Wilson attributed the late disclosure to the fact that the party was staffed by volunteers and rookies who were unfamiliar with electoral finance laws. On 29 April, the Police referred the investigation into the M?ori Parry's undeclared donations to the Serious Fraud Office.
|Election||# of candidates nominated
|# of seats won||# of party votes||% of popular vote (PR)||Government or opposition|
|2005||42 / 51||48,263||2.12%||Crossbenches|
|2008||7 / 19||55,980||2.39%||Supported Fifth National Government|
|2011||11 / 17||31,982||1.43%|
|2014||24 / 24||31,850||1.32%|
|2017||17 / 17||30,580||1.18%||Extra-parliamentary|
|2020||7 / 21||33,632||1.17%||Crossbenches|
The party's first leaders were Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples. In December 2012, Tariana Turia announced she would resign as party co-leader before the 2014 election. Te Ururoa Flavell announced his interest in a leadership role, but as the M?ori Party constitution required male and female co-leaders, he could not take Turia's place. Shortly after this, in July 2013, Sharples resigned as co-leader, saying he would quit politics altogether come the next general election in 2014. He went on to say that "Our supporters deserve a unified party" which indicated that the leadership tension influenced his decision to resign as party co-leader. Flavell replaced him as the party's male co-leader. In the 2014 general election, Marama Fox became the party's first List MP, and - as the party's only female Member of Parliament - under the party rules automatically became female co-leader.
Following Rawiri Waititi's successful campaign for Waiariki at the 2020 New Zealand general election, he was confirmed as male co-leader, replacing John Tamihere, at a special general meeting of the M?ori Party on 28 October.
|Female co-leader||Male co-leader|
|Name||Portrait||Term of Office||Parliamentary seat||Name||Portrait||Term of Office||Parliamentary seat|
|1||Tariana Turia||7 July 2004||September 2014||Te Tai Hau?uru||1||Pita Sharples||7 July 2004||13 July 2013||T?maki Makaurau|
(from 5 October 2005)
|2||Te Ururoa Flavell||13 July 2013||July 2018||Waiariki|
(until 23 September 2017)
|2||Marama Fox||September 2014||August 2018||List MP|
(until 23 September 2017)
|3||Debbie Ngarewa-Packer||15 April 2020||Incumbent||List MP
(from 17 October 2020)
|3||John Tamihere||15 April 2020||28 October 2020||--|
|4||Rawiri Waititi||28 October 2020||Incumbent||Waiariki|
The party also has a president:
|Name||Portrait||Term of office|
Our commitment to you is that we will uphold indigenous values, to ensure our country maintains its natural beauty for all who call this land home.
Primary and secondary schools will be required to teach heritage studies, which will include a history of the Pacific, in line with the aspirations of Pacific people.
A major upset in Saturday's results was the vanquishing of the Maori Party, a group which grew out of protest action about indigenous rights to New Zealand's foreshore and seabed. Formed in 2004, the party won two seats at the 2014 election; in the next Parliament, it will have none.