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: Nanaia Mahuta // Labour
Standing in 2014:
Susan Cullen | Maori
Angeline Greensill | Mana
Nanaia Mahuta | Labour
Susan Cullen ( Wetere) Whanau Name
Ngati Maniapoto (Tribe))
What do you think characterises the Hauraki Waikato Electorate?
Rural and city, wealthy hinterland , mining and fisheries, gateway to Auckland and Pacifica, heart of the Kiingitanga and Maori histories of war and colonisation. Some of the highest populations of Maori in townships to lowest Maori populations in other townships, a very mixed electorate, exciting and vibrant, with a Waikato river twirling through its heart.
What do you think is the most important issue for Maori living in your electorate?
Jobs Jobs Jobs
Why are you standing in a Maori seat? What is the value of Maori seats in your opinion?
I have always volunteered for the Maori Party in campaigning and fundraising since its inception. I believe the Maori party is the single greatest political achievement for Maori, it has maintained a stable government in its accord with National, and equally too it could work with Labour. I am an adjunct Professor in Maori education and have worked in Maori development and education for 30 years. The Maori seats have been in existence since the beginning of New Zealands political history the question of value is like questioning the value of democracy, ‘it just is’ and ‘it is’ important. What we need to focus on is educating our children about how our nation came to be how it is today.
How will you improve the lives of Maori living in your community?
An independent Maori political voice can only benefit Maori because that is its primary role. The Maori Party has a 3 Billion track record on the support it has invested over the past 6 years in Maori defined initiatives that have overflowed into helping all New Zealanders eg Kickstart breakfasts and under 13s free GP visits, rheumatic fever screening.
Why Should I Vote For You?
Our electorate has been served by the same MP for 18 years and its time for a change, rather instead of, I am promoting the idea of two MPs for one vote. Nanaia Mahuta for Labour is already on the party list and will get in automatically, our people can have two of us working for them.
The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Rongotai and would still like to be included, it’s not too late. Flick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will slip you in.