19 Feb 2014

Expatriate Party seeks Maori support

8:16 am on 19 February 2014

A Maori rights movement in Australia is taking a cautious approach on a new political party representing expatriate New Zealanders.

The Perth-based Expatriate Party aims to run in this year's general elections, but it's not yet being supported by the group Iwi in Aus.

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Party spokesperson Nick Tuelon says because Maori make up a large percentage of New Zealanders living across the Tasman it is important to have Maori representation and include groups such as Iwi in Aus.

He praises the work Iwi in Aus campaign leader Erina Anderson is doing and wants her and her movement to get involved.

Mr Tuelon says his party's campaign will not fly without groups such as Iwi in Aus and other Maori support.

Iwi in Aus says it is treating Expatriate Party invitations cautiously and is taking a wait-and-see approach.

The party wants to change the law which bans New Zealanders who have been living overseas for three years of the right to vote in New Zealand's general elections.

According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics census information from 2011, 64,152 people identify as having Maori ancestry.