Friday, 8 December 2006
Dunne: Pacific Island seats ill-considered
United Future leader Peter Dunne has signalled his strong opposition to a reported proposal from the Maori party to
further separate New Zealand's Parliament down racial lines.
Reports that Turiana Turia is advocating separate Pacific Island seats in Parliament, or Pacific peoples' inclusion on
the Maori roll, was "heading in the wrong direction," according to Mr Dunne.
"The Royal Commission found that our MMP system reduces the need for a separate Maori roll, and I can see no basis for
the proposal to further separate our electoral system ethnically.
"While it appears inevitable that the Maori and general rolls will merge at some stage, United Future believes that
Maori will ultimately be the judge of when this occurs.
"However, to suggest that Pacific peoples should also have their own seats just because they are ethnically close
relatives of Maori is a baseless proposition that was disappointing to hear from the Maori Party.
"Further ethnic division of New Zealand's Parliament would be acrimonious to good government, and to suggest otherwise
is unhelpful and ill-considered," says Mr Dunne.