New Plymouth’s only Maori councillor has signalled a desire to move into national politics.
During Saturday’s Maui Pomare Day celebrations at Waitara’s Owae Marae, Howie Tamati formally announced his intention to seek the candidacy to represent the Maori Party at next year’s general election.
The first step in the process is for Tamati to be selected by the party to be the person who will contest the Te Tai Hauauru seat, a decision which is not likely until the end of the year. At this stage it is unknown how many other candidates he will go up against.
Tamati said he felt it was the “opportune” moment to declare his political ambitions to his people, on his home marae.
In May, Tamati announced he would not seek re-election onto the New Plymouth District Council, 15 years after he was first elected.
Tamati is of course also well known to rugby league fans.
Labour’s Adrian Rurawhe only won the seat by 1,554 votes and has been fairly low profile, so the seat may be competitive.