Next generation throw support behind Māori Party's return

By Mānia Clarke

Te Ururoa Flavell's daughter Mīriatetuara Flavell says the landslide victory by the Labour Party of all Māori seats has prompted her and her siblings to throw their weight behind the party in an effort to return to Parliament.

Ms Flavell says the election results are a huge wake up call for them to take up the mantle of their father and the party's founders and former co-leaders, Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples, to ensure what they began isn't lost.

Siblings Mīria and Whatanui Flavell are motivated to get the Māori Party back into the Beehive.

"Our autonomy is not fulfilled with Labour, National, the Greens nor with NZ First," said Whatanui.

"But it's for us, as Māori, to make it happen." 

The shock loss by Te Ururoa of the Waiariki electorate to former broadcaster Tamati Coffey has Mīria backing her sibling to take up the mantle left by their father

"I think my brother would be awesome, Whatanui," she said.

"But that's completely up to him. And I feel like he could, he's got everything that my dad stands for."

"Everything that my brother is so passionate about is the same passions that my dad has, so I wouldn't be surprised if he gets chosen or if they push him and we've got three years."

On Māori Television's Kawekōrero, political commentator Richard Prebble says he wouldn't be surprised to see a new generation of Māori politicians return under the Māori Party.

"There's just been an MMP election in Germany and the Free Democrats, who got wiped out last election, they are back this election bigger and stronger than ever," said Prebble.

"It's making so many rangatahi say, ‘Oh my God, I'm here, I'm here, what can I do to help?’," said Ms Flavell,

"Now we can say, okay to my pāpā, to Tariana Turia, to Papa Pita, all of you, you've done such amazing work for us, we're not going to let you down."

The Māori Party supporters in the Waiariki electorate will meet this weekend to debrief and discuss future strategies for the party.