December 09, 2013
McKenzie targets youth vote
The Maori Party’s Te Tai Hauauru candidate says getting younger Maori out to vote will be vital in winning the seat.
Chris McKenzie was chosen yesterday from a strong field of six to contest the seat being vacated by party co-founder Tariana Turia.
The former Ngati Raukawa chair says political commentators who say he lacks public profile to win may not know who he is, but many of the electorate’s Maori voters do know, and he has a year to work on the rest.
Mr McKenzie says the cut in Mrs Turia’s majority at the last election reflected the leadership conflict within the Maori Party rather than any long term swing against the party.
"I think some people changed their vote but a lot of people didn’t vote, and I think there’s a crisis of democracy going on at the moment where if you are under 40 and brown you feel disengaged from the political system and you tend not to vote. We saw it in Ikaroa Rawhiti. We saw it at the last election. I’d like to think I’m going to add my shoulder to the wheel to ensure this doesn’t happen because I do want to represent a younger generation," Mr McKenzie says.
He says it will be a hard seat to hold, but he has the support team around him to make the effort.
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