29 Oct 2011

Maori Party co-leaders to step aside before 2014 election

7:06 pm on 29 October 2011

The Maori Party has launched its election campaign, with both leaders saying neither will stand in the 2014 election.


The campaign began at Pipitea Marae in Wellington on Saturday afternoon with a powhiri.

Tariana Turia says she will step down sometime during the next term of government, while Pita Sharples says he will see out the term but will not stand in 2014.

"Pita and I are looking at resigning by the next election. We think it's very important to start signalling to the people that this is the new party coming forward," Mrs Turia says.


The Maori Party has placed Te Tai Tokerau candidate Waihoroi Shortland at the top of its list, indicating that he is being tipped as a likely successor.

The party says the election campaign will be a compelling game plan based on strong policy and focusing on Whanau Ora, the Treaty of Waitangi and good government.

It has unveiled a plan to ask every Maori organisation to give two rangitahi, or young Maori, a job. It says based on current projections, that would provide 11,686 young Maori people with a job.

The Maori Party will push for a $16-an-hour minimum wage and is pledging to end whanau, or family, poverty by 2020.

It also wants all Maori over the age of 18 to be automatically entered on the Maori Electoral Roll, with an option to transfer to the General Roll.