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Securing Two Wāhine Toa Mps for Hauraki-Waikato


MEDIA STATEMENT

12 September 2014

Securing Two Wāhine Toa Mps for Hauraki-Waikato

Māori Party candidate for Hauraki-Waikato Susan Cullen is asking voters to consider the benefits of having two wāhine toa in Parliament from the electorate.

She says many voters don’t realise the incumbent MP Nanaia Mahuta is assured of a place in Parliament because she is Labour’s top-ranking Māori MP and sixth on their party list.

“Nanaia has been in Parliament now for 18 years and her place is certain. I’m asking voters to take a fresh look at their choices and consider doubling their representation,” says Ms Cullen.

Of Ngāti Maniapoto descent, Susan Cullen’s whānau name Wetere is synonymous with Māori education and the political arena. Her father Rongo Wetere, was the founder of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and her uncle Koro Wetere was a long standing MP.

The former Pouhere (Chief Executive) of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Bentham Ohia says Susan Cullen would be an excellent MP.

“I’ve observed her work in the community over the last 20 years and she takes the approach that no whānau should be left behind. Her educational programme Mahi Ora that took education in to people’s homes was revolutionary. It transformed the lives of thousands of people.

“She’s an avid educationalist, a wise entrepreneur and mostly importantly she loves her community”, says Mr Ohia.

Susan Cullen who is an Adjunct Professor for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has had a twenty-five year career as an educational enterprise and community development entrepreneur. She has been an active support of Māori community and iwi development, and worked internationally in Australia and USA on indigenous education. She is also well versed in supporting businesses, industries and job creation having been an advisor to Government both here in Aotearoa and internationally.

Director and business woman Traci Houpapa says Susan Cullen would be an asset in Parliament.

“She understands indigenous economic development from a local and global perspective. She’d bring this unique insight and experience to Parliament along with her proven track record as a Māori entrepreneur. We need more Maori women in Parliament and Susan and Nanaia would make a formidable team for our region.

“I am impressed by Susan’s total commitment to the kaupapa. Everything Susan does is about what’s good for families. It’s what drives her,” says Ms Houpapa.

Susan Cullen says as more people in Hauraki-Waikato weigh up their choices, more are choosing to split their vote.

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