In New Zealand it’s easy to get caught up with party politics and never really learn about the people standing in your own electorate. This election I’ve tried to give every candidate (in Auckland and Wellington) a voice by asking them 5 questions. Read more about the series here.


 Incumbent: Rino Tirikatene // Labour

Standing in 2014:
Georgina Beyer | Mana
Ngaire Button | Māori
Emma-Jane Kingi | Legalise Cannabis
Dora Langsbury | Green
Hahona Rakiraki Tamiti | Democratic
Rino Tirikatene | Labour


What do you think characterises the Te Tai Tonga Electorate?

The same thing that characterises every electorate: the people. Te Tai Tonga is the largest electorate in the country and, I think, the most diverse: from public servants on the Terrace to sheep farmers in the Chatham Islands; from jet boat operators in Queenstown to miners on the West Coast. What unites us is our whakapapa Maori, but beyond that we’re a diverse bunch. I think that makes Te Tai Tonga a very special place.

What do you think is the most important issue for Maori living in your electorate?

It has to be the economy. There are not enough jobs, prices are rising faster than wages and the housing shortage is at crisis levels in Christchurch. Maori are at the sharp edge of the stuttering economy. Under Labour, we’ll create more jobs, lift wages and build 100,000 new homes. With material security Maori can lead what Norman Kirk called “the good life”.

Why are you standing in a Maori seat? What is the value of Maori seats in your opinion?

The Maori seats mean that there is a kaupapa Maori perspective in Parliament. Too often non-Maori will frame the seats as an affirmative action measure. That’s not strictly true. The point of dedicated representation was not perfect equality – where Maori numbers in Parliament would be proportionate to Maori numbers in the population as a whole – the point was the kaupapa Maori perspective. That’s why I’m standing in a Maori seat – I want to represent a kaupapa Maori perspective.

How will you improve the lives of Maori living in your community?

I’m committed to changing the government and taking a leadership role in the next Labour government. Under Labour we will build 100,000 new homes. We call it Kiwibuild and it will help solve the housing crisis in Christchurch, create new jobs in the regions and make housing more affordable across the country.

Why Should I Vote For You?

I’m a proven voice for Te Tai Tonga. Over the last three years I haven’t been afraid to put the people of Te Tai Tonga first and over the next three years I’ll continue to put the people of Te Tai Tonga first.


What do you think characterises the Te Tai Tonga Electorate?

Geographically diverse and the largest electorate in New Zealand, Te Tai Tonga has a diversity of whanaunga, 17 mana whenua iwi and a large number of maata waka maori from iwi outside of the motu.

What do you think is the most important issue for Maori living in your electorate?

The maori tv kowhiri pole of 500 said education was the top priority but I think a more extensive pole would show the cost of living to be our biggest issue, rents, power and food costs make life tough for many.

Why are you standing in a Maori seat? What is the value of Maori seats in your opinion?

I am standing for the maori seat because I believe in representation. The Maori Party vision to be “A strong Independendent Maori voice with influence in Parliament.” really appeals to me, our people deserve and need a representative who is hard working and will advocate strongly. NZ is the only colonize country in the world with seats set aside for first nation peoples. It is really important that we protect our maori seats and maintain our independent representation.

How will you improve the lives of Maori living in your community?

I will build on the foundations laid down by Dr Pita Sharples and Whaea Tariana Turia over the past 10 years. I believe in rangitiratanga, self determination, our people need opportunity, our children need the chance to reach their potential. We do not want another 3 generations of welfare dependence, we want to facilitate change through programs likeTrade Training, Whanau Ora and Enabling good lives.

Why Should I Vote For You?

I have nine years of political experience in Local Government including Deputy Mayor in Christchurch  during the earthquake time. Political experience is important at a time where we have 2 of our leaders retiring. I am also a mother of six with a diversity of life experience and understanding of what it is like to raise a family and provide for their needs . I have a reputation of being energetic and hard working and will advocate strongy for the needs of Te Tai Tonga whanau.

The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Te Tai Tonga and would still like to be included, it’s not too late. Flick me an email at madicattt@gmail.com and I will slip you in. 

About madicattt

Curator of The Things That Are Good. Sharing the things that stand out in the worlds of theatre, food, beauty and style.
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