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Peters takes on Maori Party

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Winston Peters
Winston Peters

Wellington, May 31 NZPA - New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is taking on the Maori Party and its firebrand MP Hone Harawira.

He told a public meeting in Gisborne yesterday there were natural Maori leaders in New Zealand and there were "those who just push and shout and scream and get all the attention, usually from the European media".

These "self-annointed Maori leaders" were dividing New Zealand when unity was needed.

"I know the Harawiras -- the Harawira family has been on the state's teat their whole lives," the Gisborne Herald reported Mr Peters as saying.

"Now Hone Harawira is saying his tribe never ceded sovereignty in the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

"He is saying he is for, and the Maori Party is for, the right for them to be self-governing and an independent state.

"So we're going to have a Nga Puhi government, a Ngati Whatua government, a Ngati Porou government."

Mr Peters said "this elite" was ignorant about the challenges faced by Maori at the bottom of the heap.

"There's a group of highly educated Maori bureaucrats today who are on the taxpayers' teat and have made a fortune when the people down the bottom are getting nothing at all," he said.

"Every time they get up in a parliamentary setting they talk about `poor Maori' but they wouldn't know a poor Maori if they fell over one."

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