Topic: Elections/Kōwhiri

Labour's Māori candidates play major part heading into Elections

By Maiki Sherman

Labour's Māori candidates will play a major part in the Election battle. Part of the new generation rejuvenating the party.

According to Peeni Henare, "They want to know the issues and they want us as Māori to be the face of the party's policies which is quite a big challenge."

Nanaia Mahuta says, “Amongst them they have skills in communicating and getting the message out there as well as bringing new ideas to Labour around things Māori.”

In recent months the Labour Party has featured dismally in polls, however, its Māori candidates believe the support it still out there.

According to Rawiri Waititi, "I'm not concerned with those figures, they aren't calling our Māori households including those of strong Labour supporters, they're simply calling their friends."

Willow-Jean Prime says, “I'm really happy to see so many Māori standing for the Labour Party in Māori and general seats.”

An example of how the polls can quickly turn around is Bill Shorten, leader of the Australian Labor Party.

He and his party are ahead of the Tony Abbott led government by 10%. While here, he discussed with Māori Labour members about ways to increase indigenous representation in Parliament.

The true test will be whether voters warm to policy such as smaller class sizes in determining whether Labour is to be victorious in the ring come September 20. 

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