tion of crops is also an issue, with Mäori largely opposed to it. The apparent lack of performance of many Mäori members of parliament was another issue. One commentator noted that of the sixteen Mäori members in the last parliament, fewer than six could be relied on to advocate for Mäori and only one, Tariana Turia, was prepared to fight publicly in support of Mäori issues. The poor performance was not unexpected, given the severe attacks from both the media and conservative opposition parties on any outspoken Mäori members and the fact that party loyalties have effectively prevented their acting as a single bloc. Yet the July 2002 elections saw a record number of 20 Mäori members in a parliament of 120, with 11 representing their own electorates and the rest as list members for their parties. But none of these were independents. All 7 Mäori electorate seats remained with Labour, with the Labour Mäori caucus at a record 10 members within the full Labour caucus of 52. Yet despite the strong Mäori numbers, shortly after the elections the Mäori caucus indicated that it was requesting just three ministerial appointments inside cabinet and three outside cabinet in what
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Feb 10, 2003
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