Nats in conversations with ‘high calibre’ Māori to contest Māori seats

By Whatitiri Te Wake

National leader Christopher Luxon says that over the summer some "high-powered" Māori have reached out to him with hopes of not only becoming MP’s but also contesting the Māori seats for the party.

“Some really awesome high-calibre Māori reached out to me over summer. What's been interesting is it's since the leadership change, the reset and since we're focused on the right things, which is the people of New Zealand, not the National Party”

“We've had some really outstanding folk reach out and express their interest in becoming a candidate.”

At the weekend, Luxon delivered his state-of-the-nation speech, and not once was the word ‘Māori’ mentioned. He says that's because his focus is on issues that impact all people of New Zealand

“I was talking about New Zealand, I was talking about that impacts on all communities across New Zealand, the same issues whether you're Māori or Pākehā or anybody else trying to work to get ahead,” he said.

Seeking tax cuts

In his speech  Luxon outlined a plan to make New Zealand's economy recover and, while no specific mention of increasing Māori health and wellbeing was made, he did say he has his sights on clawing back to Māori voters at the next election

He took a swing at what he says is the Labour government's failure to address economic issues.

“Rents are through the roof. Filling up your car at a petrol station is very expensive. Food prices are up over 13% and inflation is up to the highest its been in the last three decades”

“Adjust the tax bands by the level of inflation so that people don't get caught paying more tax than they need to because they're moving to a higher tax bracket,” he said. 

In return, the government slammed Luxon's tax cuts proposal. In a statement, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said that it was a continuation of failed mistakes by previous National leaders.

“The reality is that Christopher Luxon’s proposals will just make things worse. There will be more congestion on Auckland’s roads, it will be harder for first home buyers to buy a house and those on low incomes will fall further behind."

“Luxon wants to cut debt, cut tax but keep spending. The maths doesn't add up" he said.