Candidate profile

Housing, homelessness, poverty, inequality and institutional racism were key issues Te Ururoa Flavell hoped to address as the Maori Party's Waiariki candidate.

Mr Flavell said the priority issues in Waiariki were housing and homelessness.

That was why he had set up the Maori Housing Network Kainga Ora in 2015 which he said now had 100 housing projects approved for the Waiariki rohe [area] this year.

Advertisement

"Despite the $2.3 billion that will be spent nationally on housing this year, we need to do more," he said.

"And I am determined to deploy specialist navigators who will work long-term with whanau to get them into permanent housing."

Mr Flavell's four key priorities for whanau [family] included providing access to warm, affordable homes, improving the health of tamariki [children] and kaumatua [elders]; opportunities for rangatahi [youth] to thrive as Maori at home, work and school - and to further address poverty, inequality and institutional racism.

He said he was honoured to have been the MP for Waiariki for the past 12 years.

"It has been a huge privilege.

"I was determined when I entered Parliament in 2005, that I would be the example set by my kuia [grandmother] and work hard to get things done for our people - he ringa raupa hei hapai i te iwi."

Mr Flavell said as a teacher and champion of efforts to revitalise te reo Maori, passing Te Ture mo te reo Maori Act last year was a personal highlight. The Maori Language Act 2016, passed in April last year, was written in both te reo Maori and English.

"Facing our past with courage is important to me too, so getting agreement for the pardon of Rua Kenana is another highlight." The historic agreement to clear the Tuhoe prophet's name of false charges brought closure to 101 years of conflict between Tuhoe and the Crown.

But Mr Flavell said raising his five children with his wife Erana and welcoming two mokopuna [grandchildren] was by far his greatest honour in life.

"A vote for me is a vote for a safe pair of hands - kaupapa Maori, ringa raupa."