October 21, 2020
Face time laid ground for Labour East Coast win
East Coasters are celebrating having three wāhine Māori representing them in parliament.
Labour’s Kiritapu Allen won the general East Coast seat on Saturday night and Meka Whaitiri retained Ikaroa Rāwhiti, while the Greens’ increased haul of party votes took Dr Elizabeth Kerekere into parliament.
Community activist Tina Ngata says Ms Allen’s groundwork in the electorate contributed to her upset win against Tania Tapsell in the seat previously held for National by Anne Tolley.
"Throughout the slash floods she came out to see people. The communities know Kiritapu here and in Gisborne and further along down along the coast as well and when Tania stepped in she was very much unknown to all of us and of course does not stay locally as a Te Arawa girl," she says.
Ms Ngata says Labour was incremental and cautious in its first term, and she wants to see more progress this time, particularly from its Māori MPs.
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