One of the main issues for Debbie Ngarewa-Packer is changing the attitudes of non-Māori to Māori wards on local councils in the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate. The Ngāti Ruanui leader is one of two nominees announced to contest the Māori Party candidacy for Te Taihauāuru.
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer who's the head of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui says this peace hīkoi led by New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd has inspired her to advocate for Māori seats on local councils in the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate.
“I actually think it’s probably time for some type of central govt. intervention as well. The model we're using isn't working for Māori and that needs to be accepted and we find the solution and get on with it.”
Debbie is one of two nominees who will contest the Māori Party Te Tai Hauāuru candidacy alongside former professional rugby league player and New Plymouth District Councillor Howie Tamati.
“I started off in Māori broadcasting and worked with some really big leaders like Hone Harawira and Willie Jackson and have gone through iwi leaders with Naida Glavish."
Over the next few weeks the Māori Party is expected to announce their candidates who will contest the seven Māori seats at the 2017 election.
It's understood Tainui leader Rahui Papa will consider contesting the Hauraki-Waikato candidacy, sources say other leaders have also been approached by the party to put their names forward to contest the party's candidacies including Ngāi Tahu leader Mark Solomon for Te Tai Tonga, Shane Taurima for Tāmaki Makaurau, Ngarimu Blair for Tāmaki Makaurau, Moana Maniapoto for Tāmaki Makaurau and Willie Jackson for Tāmaki Makaurau.
The Māori Party candidate for the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate will be announced on Saturday 29 October.