Tame Iti will stand as a list candidate for the Māori Party at this year’s General Election.
The Tūhoe health worker, artist and political advocate says he’s standing for the Māori Party because they are focused on the issues that are important to whānau, hapū and iwi.
“I totally support Whānau Ora and I believe that Māori need an independent voice in Parliament. The Māori Party is the only independent Māori voice in Parliament,” says Tame Iti.
He says he's a different man to the one known for his protesting, he now believes to make change you have to be at the decision making table.
While Tame iti is no stranger to controversy, Māori Party President Naida Glavish says having the support of Tame Iti, and Northland doctor and 2014 NZer of the Year, Dr Lance O’Sullivan, is a huge boost to the party.
“These two people work tirelessly for their communities and their public support for the Māori Party sends a strong messages to the electorates.”
It's thought he'd be a better fit with Hone Harawira and the MANA Movement but he says he has always been a supporter of the Māori Party.
“I have supported the Māori Party since Tariana Turia, in an act of political heroism crossed the floor and formed the Māori Party. I support Te Ururoa and Rangi because they are both “kanohi kitea”, people who are seen in their communities,” says Tame Iti.
Tame Iti is expected to be ranked at 8th or 9th spot on the Māori Party list.