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Former MP Claudette Hauiti says National is playing Russian roulette with its Māori candidates and it could backfire if the predicted election swing against Labour doesn’t happen.
National have placed their two wāhine candidates contesting two Māori electorates down their party list and hope a potential election swing will see them both get into Parliament anyway.
Te Tai Hauāuru candidate Harete Hipango at No 31 should be safe, but Hinurewa Te Hau, who’s flying National’s blue flag in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate at No 38 will be on the borderline.
Shane Reti, No 4, Hamilton West MP Tama Potaka No 24 and newcomer Dale Stephens No 29 are also guaranteed to be in the National’s post-election team.
But three other National candidates who whakapapa Māori, Dan Bidois in Northcote, David MacLeod in New Plymouth and James Meager in Rangitata, at 60, 67 and 69 respectively will have to win their electorate seats.
Hauiti, now the Radio Waatea 603 political editor, was surprised by the low rankings of the Māori men.
“Harete will get there because of her list number, but Hinurewa is on the cusp. She should get into Parliament once the retirements of National list MPs happen, which might be in the first six months,” Hauiti told the Herald.
“There’s a few on the National Party list who should go post-election and likely look for greener pastures.
“The big disappointment is that group of Māori men at 60, 67 and 69.
“The internal polling from National suggests those three will win their seats, which is why they are ranked so low, but if I was David McLeod, a former Fonterra Director and well-known Māori businessman, I would be fuming.”
“If I was those men, I would be disappointed. If National were new and innovative about their candidates, those three would be listed higher.”
When announcing National’s list, leader Christopher Luxon said he was happy with the make-up.
“I’m very proud of the diversity that we’re building into this list,” Luxon said.
There are 21 women and 19 men in the top 40 representing European, Māori, Indian, Cook Island, Samoan, Korean, Filipino, Tongan and Chinese New Zealanders.
“This is a team that can step up to provide New Zealand with the strong stable government it needs to get things done and deliver the change New Zealanders need to get ahead.”
Joseph Los’e joined NZME in 2022 as Kaupapa Māori Editor. Los’e was a chief reporter, news director at the Sunday News newspaper covering crime, justice and sport. He was also editor of the NZ Truth and prior to joining NZME worked for 12 years for Whānau Waipareira.