'Lots of hard work' needed to retain Māori seats - Labour Māori caucus campaign launch

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Labour Māori Caucus was out in force today as it launched its campaign to retain the Māori seats.

This included Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern, who received quite the introduction from guest MC Kaiora Tipene of The Casketeers fame.

"According to most recent headlines, the world's most eloquent leader," Tipene said as Ardern rose to take the lectern to applause from those in attendance at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, Māngere.

Ardern opened her speech in te reo and acknowledged her team as well as King Tuheitia. Formalities completed, she cut straight to campaign speak.

"All of us in this room know we have work to do. That is why our slogan is all about, continuing on with the kaupapa that needs to be done.

"While you wait for some of those different election ideas to be rolled out, I'll say again what I have said before and what I have said at Waitangi - know us by our deeds, know us by what we have done."

 Te Tai Hauāuru MP Adrian Rurawhe was asked by Te Ao reporter Rukuwai Tipene-Allen how he felt about his seat being safe. "I'm very confident that I will retain the Te Tai Hauāuru seat but we also know that there is a lot of hard work that needs to happen across the whole electorate," he said.

Treaty Minister and former Labour leader Andrew Little was also at the campaign launch. He discussed his meeting with Ngāpuhi and other iwi yesterday, "I thought it was a very good kōrero.

"There's still a lot of mahi to do. This is not going to be fixed overnight, it never will be, but there is a sense that people know that they can take control and they can make progress on their own terms," Little said. 

Te Ao also talked to Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis and IIkaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.