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Signs of Change on Political Trail with Tasha Hohaia

Signs of change on the political trail with young Maori Party candidate

Maori Party Candidate Tasha Hohaia is showing Manurewa locals that selfies can be political too, on a mission to dismiss skeptical rhetoric.

“There’s a misconception that different forms of creativity discredit our capabilities as politicians. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I think it actually reflects strength as a candidate and strength as a party, which gives me confidence to dare to be creative.”

Hohaia’s campaign billboards were erected across the community over the weekend, with a notable selfie hoarding that stands out from her competitors; a risky move removing her own picture from the board to to invite locals to take their own photo in front of her colourful design using the hashtag #MakeItTasha. One of the youngest candidates of the Maori Party, she aims to ensure 18-29 year olds understand that voting is not just for older generations by creating opportunities to participate in the campaign process as well.

“We need the voting process to look and sound like us, because it’s for us. We have the ability to determine what our futures look like; that’s what mana motuhake looks like, the ability to determine our direction, our future.”

Hohaia has also trialled snapchat geofences in Manurewa as part of her campaign, and has made an effort to balance meetings at community halls and local marae equally with meetings after school at McDonalds and the basketball courts. “The kōrero that happens in community hall meetings are just as important as what is talked about while waiting in line for your frozen coke”. Hohaia has been proactive in translating politics for all ages.

“I’m being very intentional in how I connect with the community, it’s imperative all generations are heard this election. There’s value in diversity and that includes the voice of young people. Ultimately I’d like to see a written constitution and civics education introduced to the curriculum. It’s our honour, and our duty as New Zealanders, that we have the choice to vote, it’s important that all New Zealanders of all ages understand this”.

“But first let me take a selfie.”

Tasha Hohaia - Māori Party Candidate for Manurewa


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