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Maori King should stay neutral: Peters

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/08/2016

The Maori King shouldn't be supporting any political party, NZ First leader Winston Peters says.

King Kiingi Tuheitia made the surprising comment at the weekend that he wouldn't again vote Labour, saying he supported the Maori Party and the Mana Movement.

It's believed to be unprecedented and Mr Peters says the king should be above politics and remain neutral.

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

"It is regrettable for the Kingitanga movement and the welfare of Maoridom."

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

"A matter of weeks ago he was talking about Maori and Mana needing to come together, now we see this latest tactic," Mr Peters said.

When he was last month elected Maori Party president, Mr Morgan said his aim was to win all the Maori seats.

There are seven of them, and Labour holds six.

Mr Morgan has also made initial moves to bring the Maori Party and Hone Harawira's Mana Movement together.

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