he hoped to be a stablising force for the movement in the north.

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The Maori Party's new candidate for the Tai Tokerau by-election said
he hoped to be a stablising force for the movement in the north.

Solomon Tipene fronted a press conference at Hoani Waititi Marae
today with Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell, and Maori co-presidents Pem
Bird and Ken Mair.

The Ngati Hine man is a surprise selection for the seat which runs from
Cape Reinga to West Auckland.

In answer to a question about why he was better than Hone Harawira, Mr Tipene said: "I hope to bring a stabilising factor to Maori
politcs in Tai Tokerau. For too long now we've had...a situation where he's made it difficult for our people to...support Maori
politics."

Mr Tipene was up against lawyer Mere Mangu and the favourite going into the selection process actor Waihoroi Shortland.

He has extensive networks across the region and has worked for
Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Open Polytechnic, Corrections, New Zealand
Army and the former Maori Affairs department.

Mr Bird said the party was "thrilled" with Mr Tipene.

"Solomon immediately impresses with his sharp intellect, his strong grasp of contemporary issues facing Te Tai Tokerau, and his strength and commitment to the learnings of kaupapa Maori," Mr Bird said.