The time is up for the Maori seats - Winston Peters

Morning Talk 20/08/2018
Winston Peters. Photo: File.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says the time has come to abolish the Maori seats.

Speaking to RadioLIVE’s Mark Sainsbury, Mr Peters reinforced his long held belief that the Maori seats have had their day and that New Zealanders need to decide their future - not politicians.

Perhaps they've already voted with their feet.

“If you were to ask, the overwhelming view, on the part of New Zealanders, to have one franchise, and a country that salutes one flag, one system of laws and one culture called the emerging New Zealand culture, if you were to program that properly and postulate that correctly out to the public, I think there’s an overwhelming majority for that,” he said.

Winston Peters says the numbers of Maori on the Maori roll is falling.

“The majority [of Maori are] on the General Roll, perhaps they’ve already voted with their feet.

“[Maori seats] did have their purpose, when that was started in 1867, they had a purpose, under people like Ngata, Pomare and Buck and others.

"There was a dramatic need for them, but as the Electoral Commission pointed out so long ago, that MMP, a changed electoral system would guarantee far greater representation in Parliament to Maori,” Mr Peters told RadioLIVE.

Listen to the full interviews with Winston Peters above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.