Te Pāti Maori has made the decision not to stand any candidates in the upcoming Tauranga bi-election.
“Whilst this By-election could be an opportunity for Te Pāti Māori to advance our cause for a more just, equitable, equal, Tiriti Centric Aotearoa, we have made the decision to not stand a candidate”, says Te Pāti Māori president, Che Wilson.
“This decision was made on the basis of a safety issue. A Department of Internal Affairs Report published in April this year confirmed that Tauranga is a hot spot for hate speech from white supremacists on social media. The first hate-speech conviction and the belittling of te reo Māori at a public event took place in Tauranga, even our Co-Leaders have been the recipient of threats and hate speech by Tauranga residents ” says Wilson
“By standing in the By-election, we would be consciously sending our people into an unsafe environment and can only imagine how hard this is for our whanaunga and iwi of Tauranga Moana. ”
“We are focused on a more just Tiriti-centric Aotearoa. To get to this place requires more contribution to help lift Māori up to the same starting point as others in Aotearoa. This is currently being bandied around as being unfair, disproportionate and undemocratic, we know this is rubbish but have to continually fight for equity on our journey to a better Aotearoa” states Wilson.
“We know Tauranga Moana is an amazing place; rich with history and there is hope in what is happening with Iwi and the Curate Church gift as an example, but sadly, this is politics and the race card will mean that Māori will be used by some as a political football and we are unwilling to expose our people to that rubbish” says Wilson.