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Turia to stand down in 2014

Friday 14 Dec 2012 7:52 a.m.

Maori Party founder Tariana Turia will stand down at the next election.

She announced her decision on Friday, saying she wanted to give the party plenty of time to consider a replacement for the co-leadership position she has held since 2004.

"I have given it serious thought and have made the decision with my family not to seek re-election in 2014," she said.

"I am looking forward to spending more time with my husband and our mokopuna."

Mrs Turia's decision will be a blow to the party because she is its only MP with a safe seat in parliament.

Her co-leader, Pita Sharples, says he and Mrs Turia have steered the waka for the last eight years.

"It will be a huge change to lose my mate," he said.

"I totally support her decision, she will be leaving a legacy of opportunity for Maori."

The party's third MP, Te Ururoa Flavell, is almost certain to succeed Mrs Turia as co-leader.

He says she has shown inspiring leadership and absolute commitment.

Mrs Turia came to parliament as a Labour MP but quit the party over the Foreshore and Seabed Act and formed the Maori Party.

It has three MPs in parliament and has signed a support agreement with National.

NZN

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