The Maori Party has selected education adviser Marama Fox as its election candidate for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti seat, currently held by Labour's Meka Whaitiri.

Hawke's Bay is part of the sprawling Maori electorate, which stretches from East Cape to Wellington. The seat was held by Labour's Parekura Horomia until his death last year.

Ms Fox takes over from former Maori Party candidate Na Raihania, who decided not to stand in September's general election after contesting the past two campaigns for the seat.

Mr Raihania ran second to Mr Horomia in the 2011 general election and third behind Ms Whaitiri and the Mana Party's Te Hamua Nikora in last year's by-election after Mr Horomia's death.


Mr Nikora intends to stand for Mana again this year, and Dannevirke consultant Henare Kani is awaiting a meeting to confirm his candidacy for the Green Party.

The Maori Party's Ikaroa-Rawhiti Electorate Chair, Ivy Raroa, said Ms Fox was an experienced educational leader, who has taught at kohanga reo, kura kaupapa Maori, wharekura, public secondary schooling, and more recently as an advisor in the Ministry of Education.

Party president Naida Glavish described her as a "talented entertainer and storyteller, who has taken her many skills into the educational profession".

"Throughout her career she has developed a flair in project management, in critical thinking, in relationship management, communication, leadership and strategic analysis - all transferable skills for the parliamentary arena," she said.

Ms Fox said her recent work promoting Maori teaching and learning frameworks had motivated her to look closely at the concept of "Maori succeeding as Maori". "As a proud mama of nine children this and Whanau Ora [the Government's Maori health and social services funding strategy] has always resonated with our whanau, as a model for breeding success," she said.

Ms Whaitiri, a former chief executive of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, won last year's by-election for Labour with a majority of 1659 over Mana's Mr Nikora, well down on Mr Horomia's 2011 majority of 6541.