The Māori Party and the media: Representations in mainstream print leading to the 2005 election
Race issues featured in political campaigns leading up to the 2005 election. A speech made by the leader of the National Party, Don Brash, at Orewa, 27 January 2004 decrying racial separatism and accusing the government of supporting race-based policies resonated with a considerable sector of the populace and public polling at that time showed increased popular support for the National party (Miller, 2005, p. 166). There was considerable media exposure to race issues following the Brash speech and it contributed to a re-evaluatiuon of Māori policy by the 1999-2005 Labour coalition government which in turn resolved to remove ethnic targeting from public policy. Tradition Māori support for the Labour party dissipated because of the ‘foreshore and seabed’ issue and the newly created Māori party.subsequently won four of the 121 parliamentary seats.
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