Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Election Winner Wants Focus on Housing and Jobs

Election Winner Wants Focus on Housing and Jobs

Winner of the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election and Labour’s newest MP, Meka Whaitiri is singling out housing and jobs as the  major issues she will focus on in Parliament.

Ms Whaitiri won the by-election with a 1,761 majority over surprise second placed Mana Party candidate Te Hamua Nikora ,promised to help Maori get back into employment, home ownership, and higher education.

“When Labour were last in office in 2008 we had less unemployed than we have now, we had greater education outcomes, and we had more people like in homes,” she told TV3’s “The Nation”.

“All I'm seeing throughout these last weeks of the campaign is our people are suffering, they're telling me they're suffering and no one is listening to them,” said Ms Whaitiri.

Ms Whaitiri is glad she got the win and isn’t phased by the smaller winning margin than what her predecessor the late Parekura Horomia got in the 2011 election.

She puts  that down to the lower turn-out that by elections tend to receive, and says the Labour Party is ready to build on the foundation of support they got from the by-election.

“I haven't gone too far off given that this is a by-election, and given generally people don’t turn out in by-elections, but it's been a strong and it's been a challenging campaign,” she said.

“The party's been out on the road with me, they’ve heard the issues, they're working on policies as we speak, and I think that’s a good thing for Labour as we head into next year's general election,” she said.

'THE NATION'
MEKA WHAITIRI
Interviewed by RACHEL SMALLEY

Rachel Labour's Meka Whaitiri has won the Ikaroa Rawhiti bi-election with a respectable majority of more than 1500 votes. Joining me now from the Manutuke Marae is the new Labour MP for Ikaroa Rawhiti, Meka Whaitiri. Kia ora Ms Whaitiri and congratulations.

Meka Whaitiri – New Labour MP
Kia ora, thank you very much.

Rachel Why did Labour win do you think? Did people vote to remain loyal to Parekura Horomia or did they vote for Labour do you think?

Meka Rachel, I've been endowed with a whole lot of volunteers and supporters in this campaign. Labour came out in force to ensure that we didn’t take the voters of Ikaroa Rawhiti for granted. I'm humbled by the support. Clearly the people voted and I'm here and I just want to say thank you to all the supporters out there and I think we ran a very smart considered and strong campaign, and I'm just really thankful with the result.

Rachel What have you learned from the electorate from your campaigning?

Meka Oh there's a lot of hurt out there Rachel, from families, from Te Araroa right through to Wainui O Mata. Housing is a major issue fronting our people and jobs, and those are one of the platforms that I'm standing on, and gonna work really hard, in obviously David Shearer led caucus.

Rachel Why is there so much hurt?

Meka Look the policies of this government particularly. When Labour were last in office in 2008 we had less unemployed than we have now, we had greater education outcomes, and we had more people like in homes. All I'm seeing throughout these last weeks of the campaign is our people are suffering, they're telling me they're suffering and no one is listening to them. So by anything the winner of this campaign is bringing those issues to the forefront in terms of mainstream media.

Rachel That’s said if Mana and the Maori Party had combined in this electorate they would have won. So does this tell you that you know Labour still has a long way to go to convince Maori people that you know Labour is the party for them?

Meka Well clearly our people out there you know had their say last night, and you know we've got choices here in this political system, and that’s what MMP's about, and I applaud that. At the end of the day you know it's actually 1700 majority, I'm happy with that. It clearly says that our people here in Ikaroa Rawhiti are still red.

Rachel What do you think is the single most important thing then the Labour Party could do to reconnect with the Maori electorate?

Meka Well I believe they’ve already started that with winning this seat of Ikaroa Rawhiti. Like I said David has been very supportive of me in this campaign, he's been out on the road several times with me, as have a lot of the key spokespeople of the party, and they’ve been talking, engaging, from the get go in this campaign. They’ve heard the issues for themselves. I haven't had to interpret them. They’ve been in the homes, they’ve been around the community, they’ve seen the hurt themselves, and I think that’s a good thing for the Labour Party, and we're gonna build on that in terms of our policies going forward into next year's election.

Rachel What do you need to do to restore the vote to the same level that Parekura Horomia had it, ahead of the next election?

Meka I want to say that you know when he ran his first election in 2008 I haven't gone too far off given that this is a bi-election, and given generally people don’t turn out in bi-elections, but look it's been a strong and it's been a challenging campaign. Like I said the party's been out on the road with me, they’ve heard the issues, they're working on policies as we speak, and I think that’s a good thing for Labour as we head into next year's general election

Rachel Alright Meka Whaitiri, appreciate your time this morning, and congratulations.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Bikes: Nats Plan $100 Million For Urban Cycleways

Prime Minister John Key has today announced $100 million in new funding will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres. More>>

ALSO:

New Tax Bracket, Child Poverty Fund: Greens Launch Billion Dollar Plan To Reduce Child Poverty

The Green Party has launched a billion dollar package to significantly reduce child poverty in New Zealand. The details of the plan were released at the party’s campaign launch in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news