Ikaroa-Rawhiti: From the candidates

Today is the last day of campaigning for the candidates in the byelection which was called after the death of Labour's Parekura Horomia. It is regarded as a test for Labour, which needs a strong result to help ward off criticism over its poor polling results. The Maori Party's success is also under scrutiny - although Na Raihania is well regarded, many believe he will be punished for the current uncertainty within the party over its leadership. Below, the four main candidates get in their final pitch.

Ikaroa Rawhiti electorate Labour candidate Meka Whaitiri. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Ikaroa Rawhiti electorate Labour candidate Meka Whaitiri. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Green Party, Marama Davidson:

For a fresh start in Ikaroa-Rawhiti vote for me on Saturday. I'm ready to step up as a passionate voice for change for our people. Sustainable jobs that protect our environment are my priority. We can create thousands of jobs in forestry, manufacturing and cleaning up our environment; I have a blueprint to deliver them. I'll also defend our tamariki. We will deliver nurses in schools and insulated homes to keep them well and ready to learn. My history as an advocate means I'm ready for Parliament and can hit the ground running.

Mana Party, Te Hamua Nikora:

I miss my Uncle Para (Parekura Horomia), a big man with a big heart. Now the voters of Ikaroa-Rawhiti must find someone to represent them in Parliament; it's a big decision. The feedback tells us this is a two-horse race between Mana and Labour. Labour have held this seat for 62 years, and despite Uncle Para's efforts our people lag behind in education, housing and employment.

Mana will always stick up for our people and they have great ideas about how to address the issues. Together we can improve the lives of our people.

Maori Party, Na Rongowhakaata Raihania:

Ikaroa-Rawhiti is our home where our maunga watch over us. Our vision is one where every child is cared for and clothed, every parent can provide for tamariki, whanau are employed, and every grandparent can feel warm and safe in their own homes. The Maori Party gives a voice for Maori to speak as equals in Parliament and to operate under tikanga Maori. Our MPs have been strong in the face of opponents. Your voice is my voice; make your voice heard. Solid, steady, dependable. I won't let you down.

Labour Party, Meka Whaitiri:

Ikaroa-Rawhiti faces major issues. Since 2008, unemployment has risen 2 per cent; manufacturing has laid off 40,000 people; there are empty state homes throughout the rohe, including 106 in Maraenui. We need major change. I'm standing for the Labour Party because our people have had enough under this [coalition] Government. I'm standing for a major party that will form the Government next year. I'll fight to get the Maori Affairs portfolio back at the Cabinet table where it once was, where Parekura fought for it to be.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 27 Nov 2014 10:48:53 Processing Time: 480ms