25 Jan 2012

Ratana and Labour relationship underestimated - Tirikatene

9:24 am on 25 January 2012

Labour MP and Ratana Church member Rino Tirikatene says Prime Minister John Key is underestimating the historic relationship between the Maori religious movement and the Labour Party.

At Ratana marae near Whanganui on Tuesday, new Labour leader, David Shearer made an effort to re-build the relationship, after a falling out over the Foreshore And Seabed Act.

At Ratana marae on Tuesday, Mr Key said he did not believe the strong link existed anymore, saying that Maori tend to vote for who can provide for them best.

But Mr Tirikatene told Morning Report that Mr Key is underestimating Maori voters, who value the heritage and historical links with political parties.