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Hapu Party confirms first candidate

*Hapu Party confirms first candidate *

The new Maori-based political party launched last month – the Hapu Party – has confirmed its first candidate.

The party's leader, David Rankin, will be standing for the Te Taitokerau seat, which is currently held by Hone Harawira.

When asked why he was standing, Mr. Rankin said that "in the last three years, Hone Harawira has delivered nothing to the people of he north".

"He is very good at drawing attention to himself, and to Aborigines, but I have been talking to people all over Northland, and when I ask them what has Hone done for them, they have no answer".

The Hapu Party has already released policies proposing a flat tax system, and an earlier entitlement to pensions for Maori because of their shorter life expectancy.

When asked about his chances, Mr. Rankin responded: "It's all about giving the people a choice. Hone has treated his seat like a throne, and he needs to realise that he is not in Parliament for his own benefit but for the benefit of the people, and apart from several speeches, we have seen no benefits at all".

Mr. Rankin has taught at Unitec Institute of Technology, and is a descendant of the family of the famous Ngapuhi chief Hone Heke.

ENDS

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