Te Arawa hapu Ngati Tumatawera helped Mana Party candidate Annette Sykes officially launch her election campaign in ernest today with a spirited welcome to Apumoana Marae.
With Ms Sykes were Mana leader Hone Harawira and Internet Mana representatives Laila Harre and Kim Dotcom.
The group were accompanied by about 150 supporters who were all welcomed onto the marae at lunchtime with Mr Dotcom accepting the wero (challenge) on behalf of the group.
"A key goal for Mana this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi (youth), and win Waiariki," Ms Sykes said in a statement.
"To help with this we've got Maisey Rika, Cliff Curtis and our Mana Youth Ambassador Wairangi Koopu all lending their support for the launch and the wider campaign.
"Mana is committed to changing the government and here in Waiariki we're fully geared up for the task. We've already got our billboards up and from next week we'll be knocking on every voter's door in the electorate asking them for their support," she said.
"Creating new jobs, and ensuring existing jobs - including those in forestry - are safe and paid at least a living wage are a top priority for Mana."
This evening Ms Sykes and the Mana delegation will meet at the Distinction Hotel from 6pm for a public meeting. Guest appearances will be made by singer Maisey Rika, actor Cliff Curtis and Mana Youth Ambassador and former rugby league star Wairangi Koopu.