Topic: Elections

Ngaire Button to stand for Māori Party in Te Tai Tonga electorate

By Maiki Sherman

The Māori Party has announced its candidate for the Māori electorate Te Tai Tonga, as Ngaire Button, former deputy mayor of Christchurch.

Also, Mana has confirmed Te Hamua Nikora will again take up the challenge as its candidate in Ikaroa-Rawhiti.

The Māori Party candidate is no novice when it comes to the big issues facing voters in Te Tai Tonga. She was the deputy mayor at the Christchurch City Council at the time of the major earthquakes. 

There's a big competition ahead between Ngaire Button and incumbent MP Rino Tirikatene. However, this descendant of Tuhoe and Ngati Porou is not intimidated by the well-known Tirikatene name in politcs.  

In another electorate, Te Hamua Nikora cites a lack of voter turnout as the reason behind his loss in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti bi election last year saying that'll be his main focus.  

He says this will be a key strategy for him this year encouraging more people to get out there and vote in the election.

Despite current MP Meka Whaitiri having been in Parliament for almost 12 months now, Te Hamua Nikora says his work within the electorate has continued, specifically around issues to do with ACC and synthetic drugs.

This Sunday, Mana will decide whether or not it will enter into a coalition with the Internet Party. Te Haamua Nikora says there are more plusses than negatives.