Broadcaster enters race for Labour role

By Lawrence Gullery

Hawke's Bay has three people competing for the Labour Party candidacy for the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election.

Broadcaster Shane Taurima put his name forward yesterday while Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Inc chief executive Meka Whaitiri and Hastings district councillor Henare O'Keefe signalled their interest last week.

The party is expected to make a decision on Sunday and the by-election will be held on June 29.

Mr Taurima spent more than 18 years working in television and radio as a political reporter, current affairs presenter and Maori issues commentator.

"I was born in Napier and spent my early years growing up in Maraenui, Taradale, Greenmeadows and Kaiiti, Gisborne. I am proud to be of Ngati Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine descent and cherish my connections with Ngati Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri and Te Aitanga a Mahaki.

"I am also a proud member of the Ratana church," said Mr Taurima.

He worked in the Parliamentary press gallery for 12 years and covered five general elections. He was a co-presenter of TVNZ's political programme, Q+A and hosted the Maori current affairs programme, Marae for eight years.

"I left the press gallery in 2009 to take up the role of executive producer of TVNZ's Maori news programme, Te Karere. In March 2013, I was appointed general manager of Maori and Pacific programmes.

"The late Parekura Horomia spoke to a number of people about entering into politics.

"He first spoke to me in 2007 about the 2008 election, and then again in 2011."

Mr Taurima said he felt it was the right time now to seek the Labour party's approval to contest the seat.

"I have spoken to many people over the past two weeks and there has been one clear message. While we will continue to mourn, there is a lot of work to be done, and as Parekura would say, mahia te mahi - get on with it."

Another broadcaster, Te Hamua Nikora, of Gisborne, and Te Mataua Maui Health trustee Leon Hawea, Havelock North, have been named as the Mana Party's options to contest the by-election.

The party held a selection hui in Gisborne and Hastings at the weekend and the successful candidate is due to be named on Thursday.

A selection hui was also held in Wainuiomata yesterday.

Bridge Pa man Na Raihania has been elected the Maori Party candidate to contest the byelection following the party's selection hui at Ruahapia, Hastings, at the weekend.

Mr Raihania contested the seat at the 2011 general election when he was defeated by Labour's Mr Horomia, who died this month, triggering the byelection.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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