Metiria Turei seeks candidacy for Te Tai Tonga seat

By Heta Gardiner

Metiria Turei is looking to stand in the Māori seat, Te Tai Tonga. Today she announced that she will seek candidacy for the Green Party in the seat.

The Green's co-leader is making a call to Māori voters in Te Tai Tonga.

“I really want to be a part of the Greens Māori campaign this year.”

One of the most recognisable faces in Māori politics is chucking her name in the hat for a Māori seat.

“We've got some great talent in Dunedin North where I have been standing in the last three elections and I want to make waves with that talent.”

This will be Metiria Turei's second attempt at the Tai Tonga seat. She also stood in 2005 where she lost to Mahara Okeroa of Labour. The gap between them was almost 7,000 votes. But since then the Green Party has raised their profile amongst Māori, and Metiria's profile has also received a significant bump in recent years. So can she win the seat?

“I will be campaigning for the party vote. The party vote is what gets me back into parliament and what gets my party back into parliament.”

Rino Tirikatene of Labour currently has the Te Tai Tonga seat. A position he's held since 2011. He says he isn't worried the co-leader of the Green Party is challenging him.

“I actually didn't think anything of it. As you know there is a lot of rumour and gossip going around about who will stand in Te Tai Tonga. Sir Mark Soloman, Metiria. It didn't really worry me, I'm just focused on representing the people of Te Tai Tonga and doing the best job that I can.”

Sir Mark Soloman is rumoured to be on the radar of the Māori Party to stand in Te Tai Tonga.