Six vying to replace Turia

24 November 2013 6:49 PM

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Six people are vying to replace Tariana Turia as the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Hauauru.

Party co-leader Mrs Turia is retiring ahead of next year's general election and the hundreds of party members met at Whangaehu Marae, near Whanganui, at the weekend to hear from the six candidates.

Frana Chase, Rahui Katene, James Makowharemahihi, Christopher McKenzie, Amokura Panoho and Pakake Winiata are seeking to replace the MP.

Party members voted on Sunday and the votes will be taken into account in choosing the new candidate, who will be announced on December 8, party vice-president Ken Mair says.

It was great to see so many "smart, spirited and passionate people" put their hand up for the opportunity, he said.

"We aren't looking for a candidate to fill Tariana's shoes. We are looking for a candidate to carve a new path."

The western North Island Maori electorate Te Tai Hauauru extends from north Wellington to Kawhia in the Waikato.

In 2011, Mrs Turia won with 48.3 per cent of the vote. Labour took 42 per cent of the party vote.

A TVNZ Te Karere DigiPoll last month found that 35 per cent were likely to vote for a new Maori Party candidate. That was eight percentage points ahead of a Labour candidate on 27 per cent, with 24 per cent undecided.


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