Polls show a close battle between two Te Tai Hauāuru candidates

By Maiki Sherman

Today the results from Māori Television’s poll for the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate have been released and it shows that it's going to be a close race.

There's only a 3% difference between the two leading candidates in Te Tai Hauāuru.

Out front is Chris McKenzie for the Māori Party on 32%, followed by Adrian Rurawhe for the Labour Party on 29%.  There's a huge battle between the two. 

Behind them is Jack McDonald for the Green Party on 11%, then Jordan Winiata for MANA on 10%.  It's the same number, 10%, for those undecided voters.

While non-voters or those who don't want to vote for these candidates make up 8%.  

Maiki Sherman spoke to Chris McKenzie and Adrian Rurawhe today about the battle ahead to win Te Tai Hauāuru.   

The numbers have been released and the candidates have come out strong, including Chris Mckenzie who's on 32%.

He says, “I absolutely expected to be leading the poll and absolutely expect to lead the poll on the 20th.”

Adrian Rurawhe also expected to lead the poll saying, “The results I have from our door-knocking led me to think that I should’ve been ahead and I’m not altogether convinced that I’m not.”

It's definitely a battle to the bitter end and Rurawhe believes, “there is scope within those results to close that gap further for me to actually win.”

Meanwhile according to McKenzie, “I wouldn’t have put my hand up if I thought I was going to be second at any stage, I always felt I was going to be there or thereabouts.”

The challenge for Chris McKenzie is to retain the seat for the Māori Party which has long been held by Tariana Turia.  More importantly, maintaining their numbers within Parliament.   

He says, “even though our gains have been good, you can only imagine what we have managed to stop National from doing.

If we thought the last five years was hard under National, you think about the next 5 to 6 years with a National Government without the Māori Party in there.”

The challenge for Adrian Rurawhe is to carry on the legacy of the Rātana family, who also had a stronghold on the seat in previous years for Labour.

He says, “I do understand the responsibility that comes with that but I also understand the responsibility of representing the entire electorate as well.”

To another candidate, and although he only has 11% of the support, Jack McDonald says the Party vote is what matters most to him.

He says, “it shows that my message is working well and that message is we can actually have two MPs for the price of one.”

Finally, the newest face of them all Jordan Winiata is standing for MANA.  A Māori warden at the coleface of issues in Te Tai Hauāuru.

He  says, “I am a fighter and I am involved in my electorate I am always at the marae with the hapū, that’s the main thing for me.”

The enthusiasm is good but we know there's only one fight in Te Tai Hauāuru and it will be Chris Mckenzie or Adrian Rurawhe who has the final blow.