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This came over the email today. I am appalled at the attitude taken by this man. I hope members of Grey Power will stand up and demand that the Maori Party be included in this debate.

The Maori Party is angry at being locked out of a political meeting by Grey Power North Shore president Alan McCulloch. Mr McCulloch says the reason is that he has “no interest in racial separatism”. East Coast Bays Maori Party candidate Rahuia Kapa says Mr McCulloch’s comments are “insensitive and inappropriate”. Ms Kapa urges Mr McCulloch to rethink his decision. She says Warkworth Grey Power has invited the Maori Party to its political meeting. The party is inclusive and does not have separatist attitudes, Ms Kapa says. It has non-Maori candidates and its supporters are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, she says.

Candidates from five other political parties, plus an independent candidate, are expected to attend the meeting in Northcote next Friday but Mr McCulloch says they’re not interested in hearing from the Maori Party. Party representation became an issue this month when the High Court ruled TV3 had to include two extra political leaders in its election debate. Mr McCulloch says a survey nine months ago found about 92 percent of North Shore Grey Power members believed the country should stop dividing itself into Maori and non-Maori.

“Our people are patently not interested in that nonsense,” he says. “We really invited people to come who will be of interest to our members and say things of significance. “We have far more Koreans on the North Shore than we have Maoris.” Mr McCulloch says when people keep telling kids they’ve been robbed and cheated and the world owes them a living they start to believe it. He says separatist attitudes are leading to an increasing number of Maori in prison.

Mr McCulloch is a former president of One New Zealand and stood for the party in 2002 as its East Coast Bays candidate. He says he’s no longer with the party. He is also a former mayor of East Coast Bays and was a North Shore councillor. In 2002 he ignored a request from Grey Power New Zealand’s then president John Jefferson to stand down as the organisation’s North Shore president
during the election campaign. Mr Jefferson also urged Mr McCulloch not to chair a political leaders debate in 2002. Mr McCulloch stood his ground, saying it was a North Shore matter.

The Grey Power North Shore political meeting is on August 26 at 1pm at the Netball North Harbour centre in Northcote Rd.

*****************************************
MAORI PARTY EMAIL FOLLOWS…

Many of you will be aware of the article that was in the North Shore Times last week (dated 19 August, Friday) where Mr Alan McCulloch, President of the North Shore Grey Power Association makes comments on Maori and on the Maori Party. His views, I would regard, as generally very divisive. He indicates in the article that Maori Party representation is not required (or invited) or more to the point, not even welcome to attend a meeting of NS Grey Power being held this Friday!! To sum it up we have been shut out in a very undemocratic way and as far as we are aware, the only Party to have been singled out in this manner!!

The Maori Party has decided to make a strong, peaceful presence outside this meeting. Details are as follows

DATE: 26th August, Friday

VENUE: North Shore Netball Courts, Northcote Rd, Northcote. (If you are coming from over the Bridge it is the Northcote Rd turnoff). The netball courts are on the left of the off-ramp as you come off the motorway – you can’t miss them!!

TIME: 12.15 – 1.00pm

If you wish to support this ‘kaupapa’ please be aware that:

OUR PRESENCE IS ONE OF ‘DIGNITY AND GRACE’ AS WE MUST ENDEAVOUR TO UPHOLD THE MANA OF THE MAORI PARTY. OUR BEHAVIOUR MUST REFLECT THE CONTEXT OF OUR PRINCIPLES WHICH INCLUDE MANAAKITANGA (Respect), KOTAHITANGA (Unity), MANA WHENUA (Our place to stand) AND RANGATIRATANGA (Self-determination).

WE MUST REMEMBER THAT THIS IS THE VIEW OF ONE MAN (ALTHOUGH) HE INDICATES IT IS THE VIEW OF MANY WITHIN THE GREY POWER ORGANISATION. TO DATE I AM NOT AWARE OF OTHERS COMING OUT TO PUBLICLY SUPPORT HIS VIEW.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THE MEMBERSHIP OF THIS GROUP ARE ELDERLY!! SO THE NEED FOR OUR BEHAVIOUR NOT TO BE SEEN AS INTIMIDATING, INSENSITIVE OR INAPPROPRIATE IN ANY WAY IS A ‘MUST’. MANY OF THIS GENERATION HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE, AND I FEEL OUR PRESENCE WILL CHALLENGE THEIR CONSCIENCE IN THIS RESPECT.

MEDIA PRESENCE IS ALSO VERY LIKELY SO THE MANNER IN WHICH WE CONDUCT OURSELVES IS PARAMOUNT!!

We are well aware that our Maori candidates once in parliament will be ‘our voice’…..but right NOW, in our community we need to be that ‘voice’!! We need to send a very strong, clear message that this sort of verbal and destructive behaviour whether it be directed at Maori or any other group of people (ethnic or otherwise) is not acceptable and will not be tolerated!! Please come and support us if you believe in this ‘kaupapa’…..bring all the whanau!! Invite along your PI friends, Pakeha friends, Asian friends, all of your friends……..this stand is not just about ‘us’ but is about ‘us all’.

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