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Māori Party List Candidates Stand to Support Te Ururoa

Māori Party List Candidates Stand to Support Te Ururoa in Waiariki

Three Māori Party list candidates within the Waiariki electorate have been confirmed and they will be standing to support incumbent Waiariki MP and Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

The candidates are Verna Ohia-Gate from Tauranga, Christine Winitana from Taupō and Eraia Kiel from Rotorua.

Verna Ohia-Gate who is also standing for the Tauranga electorate says Te Ururoa has the personal qualities and ability to lead the party through any challenge no matter how difficult it gets.

“We need to ask ourselves – where would we be if the Māori Party was not in Government and there was no one there to fight for Māori? We’d have no housing insulation, no Whānau Ora, no quit smoking programmes or funding for rheumatic fever. The Māori Party has taken a lot of flak for working with National, but every Māori in the country has benefitted from their decision to be in Government,” says Mrs Ohia-Gate.

Verna was born and raised in Tauranga and currently looks after her elderly parents Monty Ohia who is aged 94 and her mother Tirikawa Ohia (nee Farrell) who is 88. She belongs to the three iwi of Tauranga and has whakapapa to Te Arawa through her mother.

“My main job is looking after my parents but I'm also a trustee on whānau and community trusts. I am completely supportive of Te Ururoa and I want to increase the Māori Party presence in Tauranga. I’ll be encouraging people in Tauranga to give their party vote to the Māori Party.”

Claire Winitana from Ngāti Tūwharetoa will be on the Māori Party list and she’s also standing as a general electorate candidate for Taupō. She has been a teacher for more than 40 years and has been a strong supporter of Māori performing arts, language, tikanga and Māori values.

“I’m standing because I believe the Māori Party has a lot to offer New Zealand and the people of Taupō,” says Mrs Winitana.

She would like to see more government policies focused on providing for young people, particularly in education and employment.

Eraia Kiel (Te Arawa, Tainui, Rongomaiwahine) who is based in Rotorua will not be standing in a general seat but he will be on the Māori Party list. He is passionate about Māori performing arts and tikanga Māori, and he recently received a Rotorua Community Leadership award for outstanding services to performing arts. He has used his cultural knowledge to motivate a range of people, from prisoners to professionals. He has also travelled the world promoting Rotorua and New Zealand for the New Zealand Tourism Board.

“I’m supporting Te Ururoa and the Māori Party because Te Ururoa inspires me. I have not been able to find the same leadership qualities in any other person that holds the same responsibilities as Te Ururoa,” says Mr Kiel.

The Māori Party will announce its other list candidates next week.


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