Howie Tamati to stand for Maori party

Howie Tamati, ex rugby league international and New Plymouth District councillor for 15 years, has been selected to stand for the Maori Party in the Te Tai Hauauru  electorate in next year’s election. It was held by Tariana Turia until 2014 when she retired.

Stuff: Howie Tamati named as Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Hauauru seat

A former New Plymouth District Councillor has won the battle for selection as Maori Party candidate in the Te Tai Hauauru seat at next year’s election.

Now he faces an even bigger challenge, to get around the enormous electorate and rouse the support he will need to take the seat off Labour MP Adrian Rurawhe.

“Without a standing MP, a lot of the electorate has gone to sleep, we Maori Party electors need to be reawakened, renergised and reconnected back to the party,” he said. 

Tamati was chosen ahead of South Taranaki’s Debbie Ngarewa-Packer by the Maori Party at a meeting on Saturday.

“When my name got read out it was quite overwhelming,” he said.

“But I was buoyed by the support I’ve been given and the large group of people who came with me to the meeting, I felt really empowered.”

Tamati, of Te Atiawa, Ngati Mutunga and Ngai Tahu, is current chief executive of Sport Taranaki and was a New Plymouth District councillor for 15 years.

He is a former international rugby league player and coach and is the president of NZ Rugby League. 

He formally announced his intention to seek the candidacy in June at Maui Pomare Day celebrations at Waitara’s Owae Marae, his home marae.

He said then the Maori Party was a good fit for him and he was committed to tikanga and to working towards what was best for tangata whenua.

One of the issues he was keen to push if he was elected into Parliament, would be the issue of Maori representation in local body politics.

Rurawhe won the seat in 2014 standing for Labour after Tariana Turia retired:

  • Adrian Rurawhe (Labour) 8,089
  • Chris McKenzie (Maori) 6,535
  • Jack Tautokai McDonald (Greens) 3,004
  • Jordan Winiata (Mana) 1,940

Will Greens not stand a candidate to help Labour? Would it help Labour?

2011 election:

  • Tariana Turia (Maori) 8,433
  • Soraya Waiata Peke-Mason (Labour) 5,212
  • Jack Tautokai McDonald (Greens) 2,007
  • Frederick Timutimu (Mana) 1,513


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  1. patupaiarehe

     /  30th October 2016

    He said then the Maori Party was a good fit for him and he was committed to tikanga and to working towards what was best for tangata whenua.

    So what he is saying is that his take on ‘tikanga’, benefits only the ‘early settlers’
    This is from wikipedia…

    The Māori word tikanga has a wide range of meanings — culture, custom, ethic, etiquette, fashion, formality, lore, manner, meaning, mechanism, method, protocol, style.
    Generally taken to mean “the Māori way of doing things”, it is derived from the Māori word tika meaning ‘right’ or ‘correct’.

    If something is ‘right’ or ‘correct’, IMHO it should benefit everyone equally.

    • Gezza

       /  30th October 2016

      1. (noun) correct procedure, custom, habit, lore, method, manner, rule, way, code, meaning, plan, practice, convention, protocol – the customary system of values and practices that have developed over time and are deeply embedded in the social context .
      2. (noun) correct, right.
      3. (noun) reason, purpose, motive.
      4. (noun) meaning.

      1. (stative) be correct, true, upright, right, just, fair, accurate, appropriate, lawful, proper.
      2. (stative) be straight, direct, keep on a direct course.
      3. (modifier) correctly, directly, fairly, justly.
      4. (noun) truth, correctness, directness, justice, fairness, righteousness, right.

  2. @ patupaiarehe – My view on this is –

    1) Whether we take “tangata whenua” to mean indigenous ‘people of the land’ or signatories to Te Tiriti o Waitangi or First Nation peoples or the ‘Maori’ race – or all four – we are actually referring to hapu iwi; effectively the “polities” of various named geographic parts of Aotearoa New Zealand identified with waka and ancestors, which in pre-colonial times constituted what pakeha might call ‘nations’.

    The English language can’t adequately describe this; just as Te Reo can’t adequately describe the English concept of “to cede sovereignty”.

    2) I have difficulty with several words which are constantly trotted out in this discussion, so often called a ‘debate’ – which at Kiwi FrontLine is treated like a war – [the pros and cons of racism?] – and perhaps most of all the word “equal”. What do we mean by “equal”?

    If we mean “the same” then IMHO there is some kind of self-delusion going on.

    If [as I accept] things have been “unequal” for centuries and perhaps millenia, with racial difference being actively suppressed, oppressed and repressed (not to mention eradicated by extermination), largely in the name or unspoken belief of White [Christian] superiority, how exactly is it fair or ethical or tika to suddenly start treating people exactly the same from ethnicities and cultures who are “plain as day” different? Not just that, but at the very moment they begin to reassert their differences, their non-Whiteness …?

    This so-called NEW “separatism” and “race-based politics” is nothing new at all, as Don Brash and his Kiwi Front Line clones assert. Its not the result of Left-Wing ideology and political correctness. If it is, when exactly did this begin!? With the end of Apartheid? The Treaty of Waitangi Act? The Treaty itself? Or perhaps the abolition of slavery perhaps?

    And if it is a threat to our “civilisation” we might do well to remember some of the things our much vaunted civilisation has wrought upon the Earth? Genocide after genocide … 11 million in the Holocaust, 10 million in King Leopold II’s Congo, 100 million in the colonisation of the Americas …

    Its a threat to our Western White superiority and Westminster ‘democracy’, that’s all. This may be a very good thing because they’re both clearly flawed, notionally and concretely, and the threat might lead to something better? Its evolving … Gee, what’s new?

    The best of political correctness is only an attempt to correct racism and other forms of discrimination, partly by acknowledging differences and offering the possibility of “equalness within difference”. An effort to haul the human race out of the moral quagmire and ethical midden colonialism got us all into.

    “I support the argument that it has been a predominantly one-sided process of adaptation, with Maori having done most of the adapting of Christian values into a Maori worldview. But I argue that for Pakeha, an openness to Maori values as ethical guides could be a fertile ground to nurture a moral conversation about common values and the attitudes that spring from them.”

    te hei mauri ora : for the wellbeing


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