29 Nov 2011

Greens influence greater than Maori Party - Turei

6:33 am on 29 November 2011

The Green Party says it will have more influence in Parliament than the Maori Party in some areas after returning 13 MPs to the House.

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says that while it won't have ministerial roles, the party will have greater numbers to block certain legislation and will be able to sit on more select committees.

Ms Turei says the Greens now have a big enough team to carry out more flax roots engagement.

The top two policies it wants to push for Maori are protecting kaimoana from deep sea oil drilling, and making it easier for more people to learn te reo.

She says the Greens have given Maori a whole new view on who can represent them in Parliament, attracting double the votes from the Maori electorates compared to the last ballot.

Ms Turei says she suspects voters have moved away from the Maori Party because they feel the Greens will be more effective in Parliament.

There are now three Maori MPs in the Green Party caucus, which is holding a hui on Tuesday to distribute portfolios among its members.