Maori Party candidate for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Marama Fox is convinced the Government can do more for the people of the east coast electorate.

Driven by a passion to see Maori people succeed, the mother-of-nine is vying for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti seat this election.

"I've worked in the community for more than 30 years ... trying to get system change into the way we view ourselves, the way we view the world and the way the world views us to ensure Maori have success as Maori and to expand the knowledge of our ancestors."

She said the Maori Party was established because the Government hadn't done enough for Maori people over the years.

Advertisement

"People say it's been a long nine years, well actually it's been a long 150 years and our people have sat on the sidelines being kept out of the political movement."

Ms Fox said this election she wasn't focused on whether the National Party or Labour Party won, but on the continuation of an independent voice to advocate for Maori interests.

"I guarantee no matter who the government is when it comes down to a choice between what's right for Maori and what's popular for the vote then Maori get thrown under the bus ... We're over that. We think we can be the party of choice for this country because when we remove disparity for Maori we all win."

The daughter of Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Porou, Ms Fox was raised Christchurch and today lives in Masterton.

She said the Maori Party was currently working with both private and public partners, even finding investors to build environmentally-sustainable homes on Maori land, to tackle the housing crisis.

"Welfare and state housing doesn't help our people. It alleviates hardship, sure. It helps our most vulnerable, sure. But it keeps them there, it doesn't help them out of there. Whanau ora helps them realise their goals and their aspirations for home ownership."

Recent national efforts through whanau ora had helped 300 people into their own homes and developed 80 entrepreneurial businesses, she said.

"The thing with Maori money and iwi money is that it stays in the regions and it will always stay in the regions because that's where our people are from."

She said were was a lot of "untapped potential" in Ikaroa-Rawhiti in terms of businesses.

"They have struggled to make it because of negative fiscal motivation to do something up the coast when infrastructure costs and the costs of getting your product to market outweigh the profit that you might make from your product when you get it to market."

Ms Fox said in the last three years the Maori Party had secured more than $400 million to support Maori initiatives throughout New Zealand to "bring people out of poverty, on to the breadline and beyond".

"My record stands on its own and I put my record against any other MP in the entire Parliament. In three years we've achieved phenomenal things that nobody thought we would achieve."