Six candidates have put their hands up to replace Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia at the next election.
The Te Tai Hauauru seat which covers the western parts of the North Island has been held by Turia since 2002, but with her impending retirement, the party is looking for her replacement.
The nominees are Frana Chase, Rahui Katene, James Makowharemahihi, Christopher McKenzie, Amokura Panoho and Pakake Winiata.
Maori Party vice-president Ken Mair said hundreds of party members turned out at the Whangaehu Marae in Whanganui yesterday to hear the six nominees speak and to vote for their preferred candidate.
“We have an extremely talented line up of nominees and it is great to see so many smart, spirited and passionate people put their hand up,” he said.
I would have thought a female candidate is more likely as they also need a new female co-leader. But of course the co-leader doesn’t have to be in Parliament.
Chase has worked a range of social sector roles such as health, justice and education and is a trustee of various Maori groups. She has seven kids.
Katene is the former MP for Te Tai Tonga.
Makowharemahihi is a JP and has been involved in the Te Kohanga Reo movement> He is a business owner and has held several board roles. Previously a social worker and policy analyst.
McKenzie works for Turia as a Senior Ministerial Advisor. A former treaty claim negotiator.
Panoho specialises in economic development and chairs NZ Maori Tourism. She sued Trevor Mallard and John Tamihere for defamation in 2004 which led to them corecting statements they made about her.
Winiata is the academic head of Te Wananga O Raukawa.