Hawkes' Bay was the host of an important Maori Party event at the weekend.
More than 100 people gathered at Omahu Marae on Saturday for the official launch of Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox's campaign contesting the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electoral seat.
It was also announced that Napier resident Maryanne Marsters, who ran for Napier City Council last year, had been selected as the Maori Party's candidate for the Napier electorate.
Ms Fox will be standing against incumbent Labour MP Meka Whaitiri for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate in this year's general election, which was held by Labour's Parekura Horomia until his death in 2013.
Ms Fox said she was pleased to be able to officially launch her campaign in Hawke's Bay.
Her campaign is focused on helping Maori and Pasifika people in New Zealand because this would have a flow-on effect in helping the entire country.
The theme of the campaign is "move Maori" from unemployment to employment, homelessness to homes, not voting to the polls, and out of corrections, she said.
"When we correct [this] it will add volumes to this nation.
"We are the party of progress, we are not the party of protest . . . we are the voice for all people."
Ms Marsters' official Napier candidacy launch, which was due to take place alongside Ms Fox's campaign launch, has been postponed until Thursday in Auckland due to family members not being able to drive to Hawke's Bay because of weather-related road closures.
Hawke's Bay Cook Islands community president Derek Teariki said he was grateful for Ms Marsters in stepping up to the role to represent Pasifika and Maori communities.
"We support this special decision for the Maori Party. Thank you for being here for us."
Ms Marsters is not available for comment until after her official launch on Thursday.
Guests were welcomed on to the marae with a powhiri before lunch, speeches and entertainment.
The event was MC'd by Te Hamua Nikora and Crystal Edwards and speeches were made by Maori and Pasifika representatives including Sir Pita Sharples.
Ikaroa-Rawhiti is a Maori electorate formed in 1999 and covering the eastern North Island from Lower Hutt to Te Araroa.