Mana Samoan community supports Hekia ParataIt's not only the expected support of Hekia Parata from Porirua Deputy Mayor Liz Kelly that is making news, many of the Pacific community now support Parata to win the Mana by-election. I think Mayor Nick Legett would also be pretty happy if Parata won.
Labour's Kris Fa'afoi has been favoured to take the seat, not because he is Kris Fa'afoi, but becuase he is Labour. But the tide is shifting, particularly in the Pacifica community. Parata is not a hard right National member - she can draw support from both the left and the right - and she is doing that at the moment.
On the left, Trevor Mallard endorses Hekia Parata, perhaps not to win the by-election, but certainly as a front runner to be a Minister now that Pansy Wong has gone. Trevor Mallard thinks Parata may make a good education Minister. She can certainly defend National Standards better than Anne Tolley.
Many Mana voters realise that they want a person who is familiar with, and has worked in, Mana. Those who want this have only one choice. Other candidates live in the electorate, but dont work in the electorate. Fa'afoi and Matt McCarten do neither. If anyone deserves to win the Mana by-election it is Hekia Parata. It remains to be seen whether voters agree next weekend. If Fa'afoi wins Mana, some community movers and shakers won't be too happy.