Māori Party members discuss Māori Party list

By Heeni Brown

The Māori Party is about to release their party's list but newbie Howie Tamati isn't too fussed and is instead going after the electorate vote.

Tamati, the Māori Party's candidate for Te Tai Hauāuru, says, "To be honest with you, I'm not that bothered about where I am on the list. My key focus is to win the electorate."

Māori Party candidate for Hauraki-Waikato Rahui Papa feels the same.

Papa says, "I'm sure the list will be out soon enough. I don't have any thoughts on it really. I'm just focussing on contesting my own seat."

When it comes to any positioning of the list, Tamati says put the leaders at the top. 

Tamati says, "I believe that Te Ururoa and Marama should be one and two because they're the standing MPs and they should be in that position. Everybody else just go out and do your best to win the seats."

Papa says, "They're our leaders. Since last September, we said good-bye to John Key, good-bye to Little and good-bye to Metiria. Yet, Te Ururoa and Marama are still leaders for the Māori Party."

Both Papa and Tamati support Asian Wetex Kang being on the list. Kang of Malay and Chinese descent is the first-ever Asian candidate for the party and this election will contest the Botany electorate. 

Tamati says, "It sends a signal that we can work with anybody and Wetex is a really really, is a good person. I've met him and every time I've met him, I've been really impressed with him."

Papa says, "This is the year of Māori hospitality."

Tame Iti, one of Māori Party's biggest supporters, on the other hand does not support the idea. 

Iti says, "Leave the list for Māori. He's only just come into politics." 

The party's president Tukoroirangi Morgan made no comment on the list. Morgan says the list will be released on Tuesday.