'Still no Māori Prime Minister': Te Pāti Māori express disappointment

By Kelvin McDonald
Photo / File

Te Pāti Māori has expressed disappointment that there were no tangata whenua contenders for Prime Minister after Chris Hipkins emerged as the sole nominee for the role of New Zealand's new leader.

“Māori have supported Labour for 100 years. They have the largest Māori caucus ever, and we still don’t have a Māori Prime Minister,” said Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, who nevertheless congratulated Hipkins.

With Labour to confirm Hipkins as Prime Minister on Sunday afternoon, Carmel Sepuloni who is Samoan and Tongan is widely tipped to be chosen as Deputy Prime Minister.

Ngarewa-Packer said Te Pāti Māori supported Sepuloni as a “strong representative for Pasifika whānau”.

Hipkins will be endorsed as Prime Minister at the Labour caucus meeting at 1pm today, with an announcement expected at 3pm.