The Maori party is putting on a song and dance…it’s all about the money I’m afraid:
As the Maori Party battles for survival, its political opponents are already fighting to pick up the lost votes.
But politicians were given a stern warning during festivities at Ratana Pa, near Whanganui, yesterday: “Never take for granted the Maori electorate vote ever again”.
“We may be small, we may be neglected, we may be in poverty but we have survived, we are alive and it ain’t finished yet,” Ratana speaker Ruia Aperehama said.
He predicted that Labour and the Greens would govern in 2014.
He told Labour leader David Shearer: “Mr Shearer, I hope that in 12 months time that you and your government will be successful, with a strong coalition.”
Mr Aperehama said the Maori and Mana parties should get over their “imploding and tribal fighting” and come together.
Mr Shearer said he hoped Mr Aperehama was a prophet, and pledged to continue developing his relationship with the Ratana church movement.
While politicians normally spend a day at the annual celebrations, Mr Shearer is staying on to attend the religious service this morning.
Prime Minister John Key told the people of Ratana they must look past the rhetoric at what had been achieved by the different political parties. “[Labour] can turn up here at Ratana and tell you they love you but they didn’t love you enough to fix up your 113 houses,” he said, referring to National’s housing programme in the town.
“The record of the National Government in office is of one that delivers. Talk’s cheap, delivery’s a little harder.”
John Key better have some big bribes ready for Maori if he wants to stay Prime Minister. He is screwed without the Maori Party after 2014, and the Maori Party are going to have distribute a lot of taxpayers money before then to keep Maoris voting for them.
BONUS VIDEO: The Maori Anthem.