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Little unconcerned by Maori King's comment

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/08/2016

Labour leader Andrew Little isn't concerned about the Maori King's controversial political comments.

King Kiingi Tuheitia said at the weekend he wouldn't again vote Labour, and would in future support the Maori Party and the Mana Movement.

It's believed to be unprecedented and NZ First leader Winston Peters says the king should stay out of politics.

"It is disappointing the Maori King has been used in such a sad way," Mr Peters said on Monday.

But Mr Little won't be drawn into criticising the king.

"That's his personal view, it was his speech," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Mr Peters believes King Tuheitia was influenced by Tukoroirangi Morgan, his former advisor and now president of the Maori Party.

Mr Little wouldn't be drawn on that either, saying he understood the king had several advisors.

"I'm concerned with the practical side of politics, and the Maori Party, having been shackled to the National government for eight years, has struggled to achieve anything for Maori," he said.

Prime Minister John Key isn't taking the king's comments seriously.

"I agree with him, I don't vote Labour either," he said.

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