Davis is a man on a mission

By Mike Dinsdale -
1 comment
Kelvin Davis will be back in Parliament when he replaces fellow Far Northerner Shane Jones after Mr Jones resigned. Photo / File
Kelvin Davis will be back in Parliament when he replaces fellow Far Northerner Shane Jones after Mr Jones resigned. Photo / File

Kelvin Davis wants to be the man who stands up in Parliament against domestic violence when he becomes an MP again next month.

Mr Davis will replace Labour list MP Shane Jones next month after Mr Jones' shock announcement this week that he was resigning and would not fight the next election.

Mr Davis, who spent one term as a Labour list MP, said he would push several key issues when back in the House - Maori education, regional development, improving the number of people speaking te reo Maori, and "being the male in Parliament who stands up and says enough is enough over domestic violence".

"We should not be hurting our women and children and whanau through physical, emotional or sexual violence."

Mr Davis, a former school principal, said his return to Parliament - after missing out by 832 votes to Hone Harawira in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate race in the 2011 election and not being high enough on the Labour list at that stage - was a bit sooner than he had expected.

He is Labour's candidate to take on Mr Harawira for the fourth time in November's election and is confident of winning the seat, after reducing Mr Harawira's majority from the 6308 he held at the 2008 general election.

Mr Davis has given up his job with the Ministry of Education, bought a new suit - he has become "more muscular" since his exit - and is ready for another ride in Parliament after saying in the wake of his 2011 defeat that he would not be back for another tilt against Mr Harawira in 2014.

"I wasn't going to come back after 2011 but, after reflecting, I feel the message [about Maori being successful through education] is still the right one. It just didn't get enough traction last time," he said.

"I know what I'm going into this time and Maori education is going to be a big part of my kaupapa again this time."

Mr Davis said recent sexual abuse and violence cases in the Far North, such as that of Pamapuria School deputy principal James Parker - who is serving preventive detention on more than 70 sexual abuse charges involving 20 victims from the school - highlighted that more needed to be done to protect children, women and families.

Mr Davis was originally headhunted for Labour by Mr Jones and, while sad his own return was due to Mr Jones' departure, he acknowledged it would help in his fight for the Te Tai Tokerau seat.

"Being an MP will give me a higher profile and I can use my resources to help get elected as MP for Te Tai Tokerau."

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