March 09, 2020
Tamihere strategy missed opportunity for Maori Party
Former Mana Motuhake leader Sandra Lee-Vercoe believes the Māori Party has missed a trick by allowing former Labour Cabinet minister John Tamihere to stand in Tāmaki Makaurau.
She says the seat is the ideal place to showcase the face of young Māori leaders coming through.
Instead, it has gone for someone who got a thumping in last year's local body election – and still carried the stigma of having voted for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.
"Wheeling out an ex-Labour cabinet minister in his 60s who has had a road to Damascus experience and has morphed into a Māori radical this late in life doesn't seem to me, in terms of the long term survival of the Māori Party and its chances of getting back into parliament, is the smartest move," Ms Lee-Vercoe says.
She says the election will be a chance for voters to score Labour's Māori MPs – and Tāmaki Makaurau's Peeni Henare has been one of the better performers.
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