8 Aug 2022

Māori electorates: National Party to stand candidate in Tāmaki Makaurau at election

11:52 am on 8 August 2022

National's new party president says she's encouraged by the diversity in candidates coming forward ahead of next year's election.

New National party president Sylvia Wood on stage at the party's conference.

New National Party president Sylvia Wood was encouraged by the quality of candidates coming forward Photo: RNZ / Craig McCulloch

The party would be standing a candidate in Tāmaki Makaurau and was open to stand others in Māori seats, Sylvia Wood told Morning Report.

Over the years National has held various positions on standing candidates in Māori seats.

Woods said infrastructure was needed in the electorates to ensure the party was highly supportive.

There was very good interest from Māori candidates wanting to run in general electorates, she said.

Party members were "severe" in their criticism of the board after the 2020 election.

But the candidate selection process was sound, she said.

"We have spent considerable time over the last year looking at out processes, vetting, selection, and we've been working very hard on candidate selection."

The party was "absolutely encouraged" by the quality of candidates coming forward and the level of diversity in the pool, she said.

"I'm sure we're going to be able to present first class people."

Wood spoke about diversity almost every time she spoke to the membership, she said.

"We have very good interest from some very good Pasifika...

"We're not a party of quotas, we want the best possible people bringing the best skills to the table."

Wood, an employment relations specialist, was elected to the position yesterday at the annual conference in Christchurch.

She replaced Peter Goodfellow, who stepped down after 13 years in the role.

"I'm looking to the future here, I think we have an energised party, the conference was absolutely terrific and we're very aware that there's a lot of work to do - as there always is in a campaign."

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