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Maori Party suggests seat in Aust

Published: 6:37AM Monday October 01, 2007 Source: Newstalk ZB

The Maori Party wants an eighth electorate seat to be based in Australia now that one in seven Maori now live across the Tasman.

Figures from Te Puni Kokiri show that between 115,000 and 125,000 Maori live in Australia, the majority in Queensland.  They are attracted by better weather and higher wages but miss the cultural aspects of living in New Zealand. 

Maori party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples has suggested it is time to create a new electorate - Te Ao Moemoea.

He says it is sad that Maori are leaving because of the pull of higher wages and a better chance to get work.  He is also disappointed that they feel they are pushed to leave because of negative experiences in New Zealand from perceived prejudice.

The party says it does not blame their people for wanting to go in search of better wages, jobs and a better life - but it is something New Zealanders should all be worried about.

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