Current Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta says she will continue her campaign to keep her seat at this year’s election.
Mahuta gave Kawe Kōrero Reporters an exclusive interview following King Tūheitia’s endorsement yesterday of Māori Party candidate Rāhui Papa for the electorate she’s held for more than 14 years.
Mahuta is the daughter of the late Sir Robert Mahuta, brother to the King’s mother, the late Māori Queen Te Atairangikaahu.
Yesterday, King Tūheitia made it clear what his political aspirations are for Hauraki-Waikato at the Pārāwera poukai in Waikato.
He said, "I'm putting the Kīngitanga support behind Rāhui ...and if Nanaia wants to stay in Labour, well I know where her loyalties are.
"If she doesn't come off there, she's with Labour, she's not with the Kīngitanga."
But Labour Party Leader Andrew Little responded with outrage and said, “I think it shows a disloyalty by the King to Nanaia and all she has done for the Kīngitanga movement and for Waikato Māori.
“I think it's an abuse of his office.”
However Mahuta says the Labour Party has never asked the Kīngitanga to publicly declare their political allegiance to the party because that was the democratic right voters were given at the polls.