May 20, 2013
Broadcaster nails flag to Labour mast
A high profile broadcaster has joined the race to become Labour's candidate for the Ikaroa Rāwhiti by-election.
Shane Taurima, Television New Zealand's head of Māori and Pacific programmes, has taken immediate leave from his position and also given up permanently his role as the presenter of political interview show Q & A.
The Napier-born journalist from Ngāti Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine says his Ratana family has strong Labour connections, and his great grand uncle Tiaka Omana took the seat for Labour off Sir Apirana Ngata in 1943.
He says since the funeral of Parekura Horomia earlier this month he has consulted a wide range of people from iwi leaders to ordinary voters about succeeding him.
"What their clear message to me is, they need a strong representative that knows how parliament works, that has experience in politics, that has connections, and that can make a difference. I believe I am that person. I think they have made that very clear to me as well. That is a big part of why I have decided to make the jump into politics," Mr Taurima says.
He says Parekura Horomia spoke with him several times in recent years about moving into politics, but the time was not right.
Others who have confirmed they want the nomination include Ngāti Kahungunu Chief Executive Meka Whaitiri and Kahungunu board member Hayden Hape.
Nominations close tomorrow (Wednesday), and there will be a selection hui in Petone, Uawa and Napier at the weekend.
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