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Tuesday, 21 November 2017 11:42 am

Candidates turn on NZ First over Māori seats ‘privilege’

Sep 12th, 2017 | By | Category: Latest News, News

Candidates donned party hats for the Sustainability Trust’s ‘Party for the parties’ election panel. From left: NZ First’s Hugh Barr, Labour’s David Parker, the Opportunities Party’s Teresa Moore, Independent candidate Gayaal Iddamalgoda, and the Green Party’s Jack McDonald.

A New Zealand First representative has been accused of living on another planet in a fiery election meeting exchange over Māori electorate seats.

All four other candidates attacked Hugh Barr when he told the capital meeting that the Māori seats were not needed under MMP

Independent candidate Gayaal Iddamalgoda said he did “not know what planet he is living on”, during the meeting hosted by The Sustainability Trust.

NZ First representative Barr said Māori enjoyed “the privilege of being over-represented in Parliament”.

“Giving up on things like that is something people find difficult to do.”

Iddamalgoda said Māori are the most repressed ethnic group in this country.

“Over-represented in every negative health and social statistic in this oppressive system.”

The Green Party’s Jack McDonald said his party would reject any referendum on the Māori seats, and would legally entrench them, requiring 75% of Parliament to abolish them.

There was a full house at the Sustainability Trust’s election event.

Sustainability solutions to the environment and housing were also discussed at election event.

Other speakers at the event were Labour’s David Parker the Greens’ Jack McDonald and the Opportunities Party’s Teresa Moore.

The Greens and Labour called for leadership by example on climate change.

McDonald said the Greens opposed deep sea oil drilling, dairy intensification, irrigation subsidies and new coal mines.

Parker called for internationalisation, not isolation.

“You can’t lecture the rest of the community if you’re not doing it yourself at home.”

Iddamalgoda said that working people have the most to lose from climate change.

“We need to actually be able to assert our rights and our interests as a class, as a people.”

The Opportunities Party’s Moore said her party would make polluters pay, taxing a farm with bad practices and giving that money to a farm with good practices.

Moore and Iddamalgoda called for public housing reform.

The Opportunities Party favoured a community model, involving non-profits in state housing.

Iddamalgoda blamed profiteering by the wealthy and neglect of public housing, not migrants, for the housing crisis.

“Housing is a human right and we should view it as such.”

McDonald said the Greens’ would ban house sales to non-resident foreigners, and introduce a capital gains tax.

“It’s frankly ridiculous that people are earning more off their house in a year than the average income.”

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