Nats’ list snubs Māori: Needs innovation, says Hauiti

Nats’ list snubs Māori: Needs innovation, says Hauiti

Former MP Claudette Hauiti says National is playing Russian roulette with its Māori candidates and it could backfire if the predicted election swing against Labour doesn’t happen.

National has placed its two wāhine candidates contesting two Māori electorates down its party list and hopes a potential election swing will see them both get into Parliament anyway.

Te Tai Hauāuru candidate Harete Hipango at No. 31 should be safe, but Hinurewa Te Hau, who’s flying National’s blue flag in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate at No. 38 will be on the borderline.

Shane Reti, No. 4, Hamilton West MP Tama Potaka No. 24 and newcomer Dale Stephens No. 29 are also guaranteed to be in the National’s post-election team.

But three other National candidates who whakapapa Māori, Dan Bidois in Northcote, David MacLeod in New Plymouth and James Meager in Rangitata, at 60, 67 and 69 respectively will have to win their electorate seats.

Hauiti, now the Radio Waatea 603 political editor, was surprised by the low rankings of the Māori men.

“Harete will get there because of her list number but Hinurewa is on the cusp. She should get into Parliament once the retirements of National list MPs happen, which might be in the first six months,” Hauiti told the Herald.

Former National MP Claudette Hauiti being sworn in by then Speaker, David Carter, at Parliament on 29 May 2013.

“There are a few on the National list who should go post-election and likely look for greener pastures.

“The big disappointment is that group of Māori men at 60, 67 and 69.

“The internal polling from National suggests those three will win their seats, which is why they are ranked so low, but if I were David McLeod, a former Fonterra director and well-known Māori businessman, I would be fuming.”

“If I were those men, I would be disappointed. If National were new and innovative about their candidates, those three would be listed higher.”

When announcing National’s list, leader Christopher Luxon said he was happy with the make-up.

“I’m very proud of the diversity we’re building into this list,” Luxon said.

There are 21 women and 19 men in the top 40 representing European, Māori, Indian, Cook Island, Samoan, Korean, Filipino, Tongan and Chinese New Zealanders.

“This is a team that can step up to provide New Zealand with the strong stable government it needs to get things done and deliver the change New Zealanders need to get ahead.”