IronMāori founder lines up for Te Pāti Māori at 2023 election

By Will Trafford

IronMāori founder Heather Te Au Skipworth has announced she's turning her expertise to another race, albeit a political one. Photo / Facebook

Hot off the heels of another successful running of the annual IronMāori endurance race in Hawke's Bay this weekend, event founder Heather Te Au Skipworth has announced she's again turning her expertise to another race altogether, the 2023 general election.

In a joint press release with Te Pāti Māori Sunday, Skipworth announced she intends to stand as its candidate for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate in next year’s general election.

The IronMāori Kaupapa has taken Aotearoa by storm with thousands of whānau; Māori and non-Māori registering and making transformational life changes as a result. Today, Skipworth said she was taking the announcement back to where it all began for her.

Hundreds of competitors lined up for the annual IronMāori endurance event in the Hawke's Bay this weekend. Photo / Supplied

Hundreds of competitors lined up for the annual IronMāori endurance event in Hawke's Bay this weekend. Photo / Supplied

“I am proud to represent Te Pāti Māori and Ikaroa-Rāwhiti again in the upcoming 2023 election,” Te Au-Skipworth said.

“Being able to announce this news at IronMāori is so special to me. Through this kaupapa, we have been able to positively impact the lives of thousands of whānau and I can’t wait to take that same energy into Parliament.”

Te Pāti Māori President John Tamihere said Te Pāti Māori was "thrilled to have Heather join the formidable force of the movement alongside Rawiri [Waititi] and Debbie [Ngarewa-Packer]".

“Heather was selected unopposed, so she clearly has the support of her rohe and her whānau. She already has a campaign under her belt, so she is battle-hardened and ready and it is pleasing to see the courage of people like Heather continuing to back themselves, again, highlighting her commitment to the unapologetic movement of the party,” Tamihere said.

Te Au-Skipworth said she was "committed to leading positive change" and ready to win the seat. 

"I am a realist and know it won’t be easy but I am going to work hard and give it my best shot! I've done one campaign already, so I know what to expect. I will work harder and engage with as many whānau as I can, to listen and hear from them what matters most to them, rather than what is the matter with them,” Te Au-Skipworth said.

Thousands of spectators and competitors lineup for the annual IronMāori competition in the Hawke's Bay each year. Photo / Supplied

Thousands of spectators and competitors line up for the annual IronMāori competition in Hawke's Bay each year. Photo / Supplied

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