May 04, 2020
Hauraki-Waikato candidate keeps look out for taniwha
The Māori Party’s new Hauraki-Waikato candidate says joining the party felt like coming home.
Donna Pokere-Phillips is a former member of Mana Motuhake, but at the last election stood for The Opportunities Party in Hamilton West because of founder Gareth Morgan’s support for Māori kaupapa like water ownership.
His departure from the party meant looking for another outlet for her political drive, which she sees as complementary to her legal and policy skills and her advocacy for Māori on a wide range of issues.
"I've been working with regards the (police) armed response team trial period. I was part of the WAI claim that went to parliament. I was part of a submission process and I can confidently say that public pressure put a halt to that process but that taniwha is still sitting there and we have still got to be vigilant," she says.
Ms Pokere-Phillips says her legal training has allowed her to become a more effective advocate for Māori, including offering help with employment disputes, environmental challenges and criminal defences.
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