Topic: Politics

Sir Mark Solomon approached by major Political Parties to stand as candidate

By Te Kāea

After stepping down as head of Ngāi Tahu Sir Mark Solomon says he was approached by four parties to stand as a candidate.

“I have been approached in the past by National, Labour and by the Greens and by the Māori Party.  The only one this round is the Māori Party,” Solomon told Māori Television’s Native Affairs.

In a candid interview with Native Affairs Solomon also revealed he's been approached more than once by the Māori Party.

He says “I was approached by Tuku last year November, October around that period.  I said nah he’s come back on another lobbying round.  When asked whether he’ll ever stand for a party.  He said “It's not where I want to go.  It's not the field I want to get involved in.”

Sir Mark Solomon stepped down as chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu last year after 18 years at the helm.  He also decided not to seek re-election to be the Runanga's Kaikoura representative.

He says he's always voted Labour but from an iwi perspective he's had a far better deal out of National around Treaty settlements than he's had out of Labour.

“I personally like National's approach around settlements cos [sic] theirs is more property right focus whereas Labour's more social right or social need and that's not what the settlements are about.”

Te Kaea contacted National, Labour, the Māori Party and the Green Party for comment.  The Green Party says it did not approach Solomon.

Labour, the Māori Party and National are yet to respond.  Native Affairs has an extended interview with Sir Mark Solomon tonight at 8pm.