The Herald reports:
Speaking on the pa, Little he said he took the relationship between Labour and Ratana seriously. Rather than simply turn up for the headline event, his MPs had been meeting with the church regularly over the last 12 months.
He wooed the church’s 30,000 followers by pledging to financially support its centennial celebrations in 2018 if Labour was in Government. Ratana was “an important figure in the history of Maoridom” and were “entitled to some support”, he said.
This is about as close to vote buying as you can get.
Ratana has an alliance with Labour, where it tells members to vote Labour. In exchange Labour pledges it will fund their birthday celebrations.
Imagine if (for example) National pledged to use taxpayer money to fund centennial celebrations for the Mormon Church in NZ, and the Mormon Church told all its members to vote National.