10 Mar 2014

Nominations sought for Sharples' seat

12:13 pm on 10 March 2014

The Maori Party is calling for candidates to contest the seat that will be vacated by former co-leader Pita Sharples - Tamaki Makaurau.

Dr Sharples, who has held the seat since 2005, will step down from Parliament at this year's general election.

Maori Party nominations for the candidacy, which covers the Auckland region, open on Monday.

George Ngatai, the co-chair of the party's Tamaki Makaurau electorate committee, said it wants to spread the net far and wide, to find the best candidate possible.

He said people wanting to vote in the selection process must be registered with the party by Monday, be 18 or older, and live in the electorate.

The successful candidate will be announced on 4 May.

Tamaki Makaurau is one of three seats won by the Maori Party, a support partner in the National-led government, at the 2011 election.

After the 2008 election it held five of the seven Maori seats but that dropped to four when Hone Harawira left the party and became an independent MP.

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Pita Sharples Photo: RNZ