New set of candidates vying to fill Sharples' shoes

By Heeni Brown

With Dr Pita Sharples standing down, a whole new set of candidates is vying to win over the 34,000 registered voters on the Māori roll in the Māori electorate of Tāmaki Makaurau.

On the Native Affairs Kōwhiri 14 debate special last night, we saw the four leading candidates take the floor.

Labour has clearly cut its ties with the Māori Party after this statement by David Cunliffe.

David Cunliffe says, “There will only be three parties in the Govt that I lead inside the Government that will be Labour, the largest party working with the Greens and potentially with NZ First.  We will not have the Māori Party inside the Govt, they won’t be sitting at Cabinet, and they won’t be ministers at Govt.”

This comes despite Māori Television's Reid Research Poll suggesting that if the Māori Party held the balance of power, 63% of Tāmaki Makarau voters want a Labour-led coalition.

Peeni Henare says, “My Māori voice is just as independent as anyone else and I'm encouraged by well over 17 of the fresh Māori faces that are in the Labour Party now that are prepared to push that Māori voice.”

According to Census figures for 2013, around 30% of Māori living in Tāmaki Makaurau own their home.

Hence the question, what ideas do MANA Movement's Kereama Pene, the Māori Party's Rangi McLean, the Greens' Marama Davidson and Labour's Peeni Henare have to try and combat these statistics and the shortage in housing?

Tomorrow, Native Affairs Kōwhiri 14 will open the floor to the candidates for the Hauraki-Waikato electorate.

We'll also take a look at the latest polls, which will give us a better indication of the statistics for the region.