Turia, Sharples to stay on
Sat, 27 Oct 2012 6:03p.m.
By Adam Ray
Maori Party co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples may stay on to fight the next election.
Both had hinted at retiring but were confirmed as leaders at the party's annual meeting today. And while the party has been criticised for its stance on asset sales, Mr Turia had a message for one of those critics.
Mr Sharples says his party convinced him to stay on. He has led the party with Ms Turia for eight years. Both may now perform at the 2014 election.
“I would imagine we would go right through,” says Mr Sharples. “It would be silly not to change now if you're going to change.”
Mr Sharples is 71 and Ms Turia is 68. Ms Turia says they both have plenty of energy but admits the party could decide it needs younger leadership.
“At the moment it is Pita and I, but two years is a long time,” she says.
So for now, aspiring leader Te Ururoa Flavell will have to be patient.
“At the moment I'm doing my job,” says Mr Flavell. “I'm comfortable with where they're at and where I'm at. [We’ll] see what happens at next election.”
The leaders' cautious stance over asset sales has angered some Maori, including former colleague Hone Harawira. Ms Turia says it's not just his criticism that's over the top.
“Slamming everything that happens and wearing glasses when you don't need them,” she says.
The party has relied on winning the Maori seats in the past, but the latest Roy Morgan poll shows its support has increased to a promising 3.5 percent, and a political consultant told the party it must campaign for the party vote in 2014.
“A focus on electorate seats is fatal for minor parties, always,” says consultant Matthew Jansen.
If National Party wants to govern after the 2014 election, there's a good chance it'll need the support of Maori Party MPs. So it won't just be Maori Party faithful watching what happens with the leadership and its strategy for winning more party votes.
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2/11/2012 12:23:08 p.m.
Sharple and Turia can continue on with job as usual for the next four years and that would give them a chance to train two people for the replacements.
28/10/2012 11:30:49 p.m.
Daniel Lang wrote:
It's such a shame that these two are now so blatantly opposed to standing up for what they said they believed in. I don't know a lot about Pita Sharples, but I used to think very highly of Tariana Turia.
27/10/2012 11:51:22 p.m.
This is not a surprise. Feeding at the trough is better than keeping a promise to stand down.
27/10/2012 8:32:38 p.m.
Enjoying your time on the right, and want to stay . Just by being with the Nats/Act you have hurt your people . No buts ............ no ifs .
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