Māori Party

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About Māori Party

The Māori Party, a political party in New Zealand, was formed on 7 July 2004. The Party is guided by eight constitutional "kaupapa", or Party objectives. Tariana Turia formed the Māori Party after resigning from the Labour Party where she had been a Cabinet Minister in the Fifth Labour-led Government. She and Pita Sharples, a high-profile academic, became co-Leaders. After the 2008 election, the Party supported the National-led government, and Turia and Sharples became ministers outside of cabinet. The foreshore and seabed controversy, a debate about whether Māori have legitimate claim to ownership of part or all of New Zealand's foreshore and seabed, became the catalyst for setting up the Māori Party. The Māori Party believes: A court judgement stated that some Māori appeared to have the right to seek formal ownership of a specific portion of seabed in the Marlborough Sounds. This prospect alarmed many sectors of New Zealand society, however, and the Labour Party foreshadowed legislation in favour of state ownership instead. This angered many Māori, including many of Labour's Māori MPs. Two MPs representing Māori electorates, Tariana Turia and Nanaia Mahuta, announced an intent to

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