Rawiri Waititi to replace John Tamihere as Māori Party co-leader

By Kereama Wright

The Māori Party has confirmed Rawiri Waititi as its new co-leader, pending special votes confirming his win in the Waiariki electorate seat.

Waititi of Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Tūhoe and Te Arawa descent snatched the lead for Waiariki seat ahead of Labour Party MP Tamati Coffey in a shock election night result.

The Māori Party confirmed the move at its special general meeting last night. The motion was moved by Selwyn Parata representing Ikaroa Rāwhiti and seconded by Perry King from the Te Tai Tonga branch. 

Waititi replaces John Tamihere as the party's co-leader, joining Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

Ngarewa-Packer acknowledged Tamihere for his service and said she was looking forward to working with Waititi.

However, Tamihere said in a social media post, he is committed to Tāmaki Makaurau and intends on running in the 2023 election. 

The decision is subject to Waititi being confirmed as the elected member of parliament for Waiariki.