19 Jul 2011

Maori Party upset by ACT using Ngata's name

9:35 pm on 19 July 2011

ACT Party leader Don Brash says the late Sir Apirana Ngata would have supported his party because the prominent Ngati Porou leader advocated for policies which ACT is promoting, a claim that has offended the Māori Party.

The Māori Party's Ikaroa Rawhiti candidate, Na Raihānia, says he thinks ACT's intention is to continue to divide Māori and Pakeha, and to to appeal to those who support such a split.

Dr Brash has dismissed that claim. He says Sir Apirana would have supported ACT because he was concerned about similar matters as ACT, such as Māori being dependent on welfare and also promoting the idea that every New Zealander should be treated equally.

Mr Raihānia says unlike Dr Brash, Sir Apirana was a strong advocate of bringing Māori and Pākehā together.

He questions whether Dr Brash sought permission from Sir Apirana's family.

Dr Brash says he did not, but he did go to them to ask if the Māori politician's image could be printed on the $50 note.