New blood for Manurewa Local Board

By Tumamao Harawira

With local council elections to open for voting in just a few days, the race is on to see who will become the next generation of local body politicians.

Raniera Pene and Jonaan Mcleod are two young up-and-comers from Labour who are standing for the Manurewa Local Board, an area that has a large number of Māori but few Māori representatives.

Mcleod says Māoritanga is embedded in her, and her community of Manurewa.

"My values are steeped in tangata whenua and being Māori, and working in kaupapa Māori. So that's the fabric I come from."

Manurewa has a large population of Māori and Pasifika who have lived in Manurewa for generations but very rarely does that translate to those voted onto the local board. Mcleod is "born-and-bred" Manurewa, and she wants those on the board to reflect her community.


More Māori representation in Manurewa.

"We have a large amount of Māori and Pasifika people running this year. So our community can actually see themselves now, and I think it's time and the tide has turned to the point where they are able to see themselves reflected in the people who are running."

Raniera Pene has long ties to the community, and he says the issues he is seeing is "the usual suspects".

"To be able to influence and advocate for some of the needs we are seeing here in the community like homelessness and housing continues to be a huge issue here."

"Over 40% of the community here in Manurewa are under the age of 25, and so when you look at the current local board plan, there isn't any explicit outline in terms of providing outcomes for our rangatahi in Manurewa."

Mcleod believes that having ties to Labour will ultimately benefit the community.

"I see opportunity with our central government MPs at the moment and the headway that they're making for us at a national level, and my hope is that at a local level, we can weave together and create that same headway in Manurewa."