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The Māori Waka Is Back On The Water As Waiariki Returns The Māori Party To Parliament With 2 MPs

Rawiri Waititi

Māori Party Co-Leader and MP for Waiariki

After three weeks of anticipation, Rawiri Waititi is both humbled and privileged about the news that confirms his entry into the 53rd parliament of Aotearoa as the Co-Leader of the Māori Party and as the Member of Parliament for Waiariki. He shares his excitement with the unexpected entry of Debbie Ngarewa-Packer into parliament from the party list.

“First and foremost, I want to acknowledge Tamati Coffey and his whānau for an outstanding campaign and for his service to Waiariki over the past 3 years. I also want to thank the people of Waiariki for returning our movement back to the big house. I am extremely proud that Waiariki were brave enough and courageous enough to trust our candidate vote campaign strategy because we have achieved our goal; Waiariki now has two representatives in Tamati and I. I look forward to working with him to do more for our people” said Waititi.

“I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty alongside Debbie, getting to know the electorate better and more importantly understanding how I can advocate for their needs and their aspirations” said the Māori Party co-leader.

“I am humbled by my appointment as Co-Leader of the Party. I want to acknowledge John Tamihere for his guidance and experience during the campaign. His leadership has been exemplary. We can now confirm that the Māori waka is back on the water and the next 3 years will be focussed on building our movement together to ensure that my 6 other mates are on that waka with me come 2023.”

“I have often been asked how I’ll cope as one member in the house. In Te Ao Māori you are never alone. I will have the enduring support of our caucus who walk this journey with me, I will carry the weight and backing of my tīpuna, our whānau across Aotearoa that put their belief in the Māori, and I’ll be driven by the dreams and aspirations of our tamariki mokopuna in creating an Aotearoa that they deserve.”

“I will be making contact with Party leaders immediately to discuss potential working relationships centered on the advancement of Māori” said Waititi.

Rawiri Waititi won the electoral seat of Waiariki by 836 votes against the incumbent Tamati Coffey who has returned to parliament as a list MP.

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