Thursday, April 28, 2011

The battle for Ikaroa-Rawhiti

Earlier this month Labour MP Parekura Horomia was considering his parliamentary future. What this means is that he was considering whether to bother contesting his seat of Ikaroa- Rawhiti, a seat nobody else has held. He can afford to do so as he is guaranteed a seat in Parliament as he is a stupidly high sixth on the party list.

Horomia is a party man – he’s Labour’s Maori vice-president. One of his roles is to ensure that the best Labour candidates contest the Maori seats – it’s just that he is starting to recognise that he is not one of the best. This, despite not only getting the highest plurality of votes in the past two elections, he got the majority of votes.

So Horomia may stand down from contesting his seat in favour of promising candidate Meka Whaitiri, the CEO of her Iwi, Ngati Kanungunu. Whaitiri also played for the U21 New Zealand Netball team and was the chairperson of the board of Trustees at Te Kura Maori o Porirua while a public servant. Like Deborah Mahuta-Coyle, a new MP after the 2011 election, she has worked for Horomia in Parliament.

Whoever Labour selects may be up against Mereana Pitman. She is the president of Hone Harawira’s new party and unsuccessfully contested the presidency of the Maori Party. She’d be right up Harawira’s alley – one of her stated favourite quotations is f**k off.

The only other candidate in the race will be the Maori Party candidate, Na Rongowhakaata Raihania. Late last month iPredict said that he was the candidate most likely to win the seat.

Doubt it. Labour may well come up the middle and retain the seat and Horomia will be the second highest ranked Labour list MP.

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