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Rawiri Waititi Set To Return To Parliament

Te Pāti Māori co-leader, Rawiri Waititi, is set to reclaim his seat in the Māori electorate of Waiariki.

But the incumbent MP still needs to convince voters his party is worth backing.

The latest Whakaata Māori poll of the Māori electorates has Waititi claiming half of the preferred candidate vote at 50%. It’s a 28 point lead over Labour’s Toni Boynton on 22%. Charles Hunia of Vision NZ trails on 1%.

Even with 15% still undecided, Waititi looks certain to be returned to Parliament. He held a majority of just 836 in the 2020 election.

In the preferred party stakes, however, Labour continues to lead across all six Māori electorates polled to date. Only Hauraki-Waikato threatens the Labour grip with just a one per cent difference between Labour on 29% and Te Pāti Māori 28%.

In Waiariki, Labour claimed 37% of the preferred party vote ahead of Te Pāti Māori 29%, Greens 7%, National 4%, New Zealand First 4% and ACT 3%. A total of 8% were undecided and 3% refused to say.

The poll, which was completed last Thursday, showed Waititi is a hit with younger voters aged 18-39 years at 63% compared to Boynton on 23%. He’s also the first Te Pāti Māori candidate to break Labour’s popularity among older voters, claiming 33% support among the over-60s compared to Boynton on 31%.

In the leadership stakes, Chris Hipkins was the preferred prime minister on 30% with Waititi chasing on 21%, Christopher Luxon 11% and Winston Peters 6%.

Cost of living was overwhelmingly the most important issue for Waiariki voters at 34%, welfare and poverty at 9%, health and housing at 6%. Cost of living has been the biggest issue across all six Māori electorate polls to date.

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Polling was conducted by Curia Market Research completed on Thursday, October 5. A total of 500 registered voters in Waiariki were polled by landline, mobile and online with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 per cent at the 95% confidence level.

The final Māori electorate poll, Tāmaki Makaurau, will be released tomorrow when four candidates go head-to-head in an extended one and a half hour special on Whakaata Māori tomorrow night, Tuesday 10 October, at 7pm.

Join Whakaata Māori for WHAKATAU 2023 on Election night from 7.00 PM October 14 on air and online, MĀORI+ and teaonews.co.nz.

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