Rawiri Waititi to stand in Waiariki for Māori Party

By Heta Gardiner

Rawiri Waititi has been confirmed as the Māori Party candidate for Waiariki.

Waititi stood for Labour in the 2014 election against the Māori Party’s Te Ururoa Flavell but now aims to take down Labour's Tamati Coffey in the central North Island seat.

Waititi endorsed Flavell and the Māori Party in the 2017 election, with Waititi's kapa, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, dedicating one of their songs at Te Matatini to Flavell.

Former TV personality Tamati Coffey won the Waiariki seat in 2017 in what many saw as a shock result, beating Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell by almost two thousand votes.

Waititi’s endorsement as the candidate for Waiariki is the second confirmation for the Māori Party, with Debbie Ngarewa-Packer standing in Te Tai Hauāuru.

Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is also rumoured to be considering a run for the party in Tāmaki Makaurau.