Te Ururoa Flavell says he’s had enough

Rotorua Review - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - EL­TON RIKIHANA SMALLMAN

Te Ururoa Flavell says he won’t be back in any Ma¯ori Party re­vival and took a part­ing shot at the vot­ers who showed him the door.

The ousted Ma¯ori Party coleader lost his seat af­ter a Labour Party rout of the Ma¯ori elec­torates, tak­ing all seven in em­phatic style.

Flavell trailed his Wa­iariki op­po­nent, Labour’s Ta­mati Cof­fey, from start to fin­ish, end­ing the night about 1000 votes be­hind.

‘‘This was not our day,’’ Flavell told a crowd of 150 party faith­ful in Ma¯ori at Waiteti Marae near Ro­torua. ‘‘Ma¯ori have spo­ken and they said, friends, the tide has ebbed, the cause is lost.’’

But he said Ma¯ori may have shot them­selves in the foot by go­ing with Labour. Na­tional sit on 46 per cent of the vote and 58 seats. If Na­tional can cob­ble to­gether a gov­ern­ment, Labour would re­main in op­po­si­tion and Ma¯ori would have no voice at all in the Bee­hive.

If it does turn bad for Ma¯ori vot­ers, Flavell said don’t call him for a shoul­der to cry on. ‘‘I hope they don’t wake up to­mor­row and start shak­ing their heads, say­ing, I feel sorry for you, be­cause I don’t want to hear it.

‘‘I don’t want to hear peo­ple talk about tino ran­gati­ratanga, I don’t want to hear peo­ple talk about mana mo­tuhake be­cause we had it in our hands and it’s gone.’’

For­mer Ma¯ori Party pres­i­dent Pem Bird said Flavell’s track record was se­cond to none but it failed to sway vot­ers.

They were swept up in the Jacinda Ardern wave, he said. ‘‘If it was about a track record, we’d be a shoo-in. What [Ardern] has done is reawak­ened a con­nec­tion the Ma¯ori peo­ple have had with Labour. There is that at­tach­ment, that con­nec­tion.’’

The losses in all seven seats is an in­di­ca­tion Ma¯ori don’t want an in­de­pen­dent voice in Par­lia­ment, he said.

‘‘That’s an ob­vi­ous con­clu­sion,’’ he said. ‘‘Ma¯ori put their faith and hope in a main­stream party, not in our­selves, to be the key driv­ers to con­trol our own destiny. This thing called te mana Ma¯ori mo­tuhake is best sourced through and driven by the main­stream par­ties, which is in fact a Pa¯keha con­stituency. So there is a whole thing about de­pen­dency there.’’

Te Ururoa Flavell says he won’t be back in any Ma¯ori Party re­vival.

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