June 20, 2023
Labour Māori caucus to approve Ikaroa-Rawhiti candidate Tuesday.
Willie Jackson the Labour Party Māori caucus election strategist, is seeking sign-off for its Ikaroa Rawhiti candidate at this year’s election. Jackson is presenting the name of the wahine candidate to the highly influential caucus on Tuesday.
The Māori caucus has eight Ministers but was left reeling earlier this year, with the departure of one of its rangatira, former Minister Meka Whaitiri who defected to join Te Pāti Māori in May.
Whaitiri is the current MP for Ikaroa Rawhiti and will contest the electorate for Te Pāti Māori.
Since then, Labour has had a protracted selection process, with several high profile individuals including former All Blacks captain Teine Randell turning down the offer to stand.
Willie Jackson, declined to name the candidate but says the wahine from Ngāti Porou is passionate about Ikaroa Rawhiti. He says the caucus is looking forward to going head to head with their former colleague Meka Whaitiri.
In the meanwhile, Nanaia Mahuta has declared she will run seat only in Hauraki-Waikato which means she will have no fall back position or list ranking safety net if she loses this year’s election.
This would be the third election Nanaia Mahuta has gone into without a list ranking, she ran seat only in 2005 and 2017 .
The current Minister of Foreign Affairs first came to Parliament as a list MP in 1996. She won and has continued to retain her seat within the Pare-Hauraki, Waikato Tainui rohe since 1999.