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Annette Sykes to contest Waiariki Electorate for MANA

29 September 2011

Annette Sykes to contest Waiariki Electorate for MANA

Prominent criminal and civil rights lawyer and social justice campaigner, Annette Sykes, was endorsed at a Waiariki Electorate hui last Thursday by the Electorate and confirmed by MANA’s national executive as the candidate for the Waiariki electorate. No other nominations for the large Bay of Plenty situated Maori electorate were received when nominations closed last week. A hui of local members to formally endorse her candidacy has been set for Rotorua on Thursday.

Annette said:

"The confidence the local members and the Mana executive have in me is heartening. I have accepted the candidacy for the Waiariki electorate. The task of taking the seat has already begun and I can't wait to hit the campaign trail and take the Mana movement's message to the people. The branches have asked me to address the flax roots this week and outline my reasons for standing and how I intend to live up to what I hope will be a strong mandate. The endorsement will be a rally for Mana and another opportunity to expound on the socially progressive and economically responsible policies that Mana will pursue in the next parliament."

Annette is of the Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāti Makino iwi of Te Arawa, was raised in Kawerau and currently works in Rotorua as a partner in Aurere Law. Annette is a graduate of the University of Auckland and has been practising as a lawyer since 1984. Amongst her many legal battles she now adds the dismissal of most of the "Urewera 17" so-called "terrorist" accused as her latest victory for her long list of clients.

Although Annette says:

"That battle is not yet over as compensation for the victims of the police raids, the harassment of the people in Ruatoki and the effects of a four year wait for justice have taken a toll on the innocent. Others in a position of power - like the Maori Party - did little to help them in their time of need, so my efforts will continue if elected."

Annette is co-Vice President of the Mana movement. Having rallied to Hone Harawira's side when the Maori Party pushed him out earlier this year following the foreshore and seabed compromise with the National Party, Annette has been an outspoken critic of the Maori Party and their incumbent MP, Te Ururoa Flavell.

Annette says:

"It's simple really - they betrayed us. Not just with continuing the confiscation of the foreshore and seabed but with allying with National to put up GST to 15% and the many other anti-Maori and anti-worker policies they have meekly gone along with. They sided with National rather than with their own people - to me that's unforgivable. The impotence of the Maori Party when our own Navy was used against the oil drilling protesters to protect a foreign multinational, Petrobras, was particularly appalling. I felt personally let down by Te Ururoa as I was once a backer of his; but not anymore. I'm stepping up - and I'm hopeful that when people see what Mana offers they will come on board and we can win the Waiariki seat."

Hone Harawira, leader of the new movement that styles itself as a movement of the people, was enthusiastic about Annette's candidacy:

"Annette is intense and passionate. She is hard working, smart and fierce - an awesome combination. I can't wait for her to enter parliament and make it - and the country - a better place. Having accompanied Annette on several visits throughout Waiariki these last months I think the respect she has in the rohe will translate into a big vote for Mana. The message is a vote for Te Ururoa is a vote for National - and a vote for National is a vote to sell the family silver. One thing Annette is known for and that's never selling out. She is as staunch as they come. She will make a superb MP."

Hori Hata, the Opotiki-based chair of Waiariki electorate committee said:

"Annette will be a fabulous candidate - a beacon to the Mana movement. We will run a 'three-tick' campaign in Waiariki - we want the electorate, the party vote and MMP. We are fortunate the movement is blessed with such a high calibre of professionals and those from all walks of life who are prepared to work together to ensure a Mana victory. The team is gelling nicely. I am confident that with our growing membership and network of supporters we can deliver Waiariki to Mana - the movement of the people "

Annette’s campaign launch will take place at one of her many treasured marae today at 2pm, Otaramarae on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. It is expected Mana supporters from all across Waiariki Rohe and well as neighbouring Hauraki Waikato will be in attendance for what is anticipated to be one of the most highly anticipated political rallies in Maori politics we have seen since the inception of the Maori Party in 2004.


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