May 30, 2023
Willie Jackson a reluctant candidate for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti?
Willie Jackson has confirmed Labour Party supporters have approached him to stand in the Māori electorate of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.
The seat is currently held by Meka Whaitiri who resigned from Labour earlier this month to become an independent. She will contest Ikaroa-Rāwhiti for Te Pāti Māori at the October elections.
Willie Jackson, the Minister for Māori Economic Development is a heavy hitter in Labour’s cabinet, having successfully negotiated over $800 million for Māori in Budget 2023.
A staunch advocate for urban Māori, he has strong whakapapa to Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Kahungunu as well as Ngāti Maniapoto.
But he admits, he’s a reluctant candidate.
“My preference is not to stand, I would be a very reluctant candidate but I don’t rule it out altogether because you never know in politics.” says Willie Jackson.
Negotiations are still continuing with prospective candidates but, Willie Jackson has ruled out Annette Wehi Managing Director of Toitū Tairawhiti, “She’s a great leader, absolutely fantastic, but she’s unavailable unfortunately.”
Willie Jackson says a decision on Labour’s candidate for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti should be known in a couple of weeks.