9 Dec 2013

Co-leader decision likely early next year - Turia

1:50 pm on 9 December 2013

A replacement candidate for the electorate of the Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has been chosen but the party still has to find a new woman co-leader.

Tariana Turia.

Tariana Turia. Photo: RNZ

Political strategist and former treaty negotiator Chris McKenzie was chosen at a Maori Party hui in Whanganui on Sunday to contest Te Tai Hauauru in 2014. Mrs Turia has held the seat since 2002.

Both Mrs Turia and the party's other founding co-leader, Pita Sharples, stand down from Parliament next year.

Te Ururoa Flavell has already taken over the position of male co-leader and Tariana Turia says she'll step down as co-leader when asked to by the party.

Mrs Turia says she would like the party to keep the current arrangement of one male and one female in the leadership roles.

She says her successor is likely to be chosen once the candidate list for the 2014 general election is settled and the party will probably make a decision early next year. "We've got some very good people stepping up wanting to stand and we've got some very strong women who are putting their hands up."