Election Aotearoa: We need to vote strategically – Te Ururoa Flavell

It's the battle of Waiariki between the titleholder and the contender. Incumbent MP Te Ururoa Flavell of the Māori Party goes head-to-head with Tamati Coffey of the Labour Party.

Part one of Māori Television's debate, held at Waikato University, the two candidates discussed the latest Māori Television poll results, which has Flavell as the clear lead in his home electorate.

Flavell scored 60.1% of voter support as the preferred candidate among 400 voters with Coffey behind on 39.9%. Despite the disappointing result for Coffey, he is actually the favourite with younger voters with 18-24 year olds at 62.5%. He's also leading in the 25-34 bracket at 52.9%.

The former children's television presenter and weatherman told Native Affairs presenter Oriini Kaipara that he can connect with youth.

"We have to talk their language, we have to put out policies that actually resonate with young people.  I'm 37 years old and I speak their language," Coffey says.

Flavell says he is also "young" and urged voters to take advantage of the MMP system.

"If our people voted strategically and gave their vote to the Māori Party and put us under mana motuhake, able to negotiate either side, we actually could be in government all of the time and that’s the issue that our people must come to grips with," Flavell says.