Te Tawharau leader, Tuariki Delamere, today welcomed Prime Minister Jenny Shipley's endorsement of his work as the Minister of Immigration.
The Prime Minister's comment was in response to the announcement by the Mana Maori Movement of which Mr Delamere is part - that it would support a Labour-led Government, if the Maori MP's held the balance of power after the election.
"I note," said Mr Delamere, "her comment that she was glad the Mana Maori Movement would support Labour as National was not a separatist party. However, I also note that, with only one Maori MP out of 44, National can hardly claim to be the party of inclusion either.
"Mrs Shipley has failed to grasp that the Mana Maori Movement is not about separatism. The Movement believes that Maori want to have an independent Maori voice in Parliament that is accountable first and foremost to Maori.
"The Movement is not anti-pakeha, but wants to have representation that can stand side by side with pakeha, and not be suppressed within the confines of parties owned, controlled and dominated by pakeha.
"When Maori have only one MP out of 44, as with National, or 4 MP's out of 37, as with Labour, the Maori viewpoint is totally compromised and patronised," said Mr Delamere.