Howie Tamati says the planned seabed mining off the coast of Patea is untested and backs appeals against the consent granted to Trans-Tasman Resources.

The Maori Party's Te Tai Hauauru candidate was in Whanganui yesterday door-knocking and doing a walk around town before spending the evening in Whangaehu.

He said seabed mining was the of the biggest issues in Te Tai Hauauru this election.

"That's something that I'm concerned about," he said.

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"Not only that they've given consent in Taranaki but that there'll be applications for consent all the way up the West Coast. That's a major."

He supported the various appeals.

"I really do. Until we can clearly ensure that it's not going to be detrimental to our fishing," Mr Tamati said.

A Maori Television-Reid Research poll released recently has Mr Tamati 13 points ahead of incumbent Adrian Rurawhe.

Mr Tamati said it was heartening but he wasn't reading too much into it.

"The poll that will count will be on the day," he said.

"I'm just focusing on trying to win the seat. For me it doesn't make the job any easier."

As a former New Plymouth District Councillor he said he was enjoying national politics.

"My wife and I when I talked about standing, we agreed that if we did this we're going to enjoy ourselves.

"A big part of that is meeting as many people as we go around the area."