14 Apr 2023

Greens co-leader Marama Davidson pulls out of electorate race

12:58 pm on 14 April 2023
Marama Davidson

Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson has announced she plans to campaign as a list-only candidate, and is supporting another candidate for the Tāmaki Makaurau seat.

She has confirmed Darleen Tana Hoff-Nielsen will contest the Māori electorate instead.

The move is similar to that of the other co-leader James Shaw, who pulled out of the Wellington Central electorate race he's contested since 2011 in favour of supporting sitting Wellington City Councillor Tamatha Paul.

Davidson said she had decided to focus on leading a party vote campaign.

"I cannot think of a more important contribution I can make than fighting for the party vote all over Aotearoa to make sure that not only are we back in Parliament with more Green MPs but that we have a stronger hand to push the next government to go faster on climate action, address inequality, and protect nature," she said.

"It also means I can prioritise my Ministerial work in violence prevention and kaupapa Māori responses to homelessness for the rest of the term."

She said Tana Hoff-Nielsen (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Nga Rauru, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa) was a weaver of people, culture and ideas.

"Darleen brings matauranga Māori, a marae upbringing, a lifetime of environmental mahi and experience in business, science and grassroots activism to our Green kaupapa. We are super stoked and humbled to have her standing in Tāmaki Makaurau."

Tana Hoff-Nielsen has degrees in chemical technology and business administration, and has previously worked in corporate telecommunications; as an environmental scientist; and set up an e-bike hire business.

In a statement, she said she was humbled to be selected for the electorate.

"The mauri and mana of our natural world and everyone within it, are elements that I hold incredibly dearly," she said.

"Whether I am supporting wānanga to restore the mauri of our moana, or head down in our marae garden, or sitting around a boardroom table reviewing financials and policy, my approach is the same: focus on the kaupapa and mahia te mahi.

"I am honoured to stand for the only party where members do the mahi required of tangata tiriti to embody the aspirations of Te Tiriti."

She said it was time to ensure the government "gets real on climate action, regenerates our taiao (environment), and removes the shackles of a system that is designed to keep us poor, without means, or on a fast track to jail".

The Tāmaki Makaurau electorate covers Auckland - central, west and south as far as Manukau - and has been held by Labour's Peeni Henare since 2014, although his margin has been slipping.

In the 2020 election, Henare slipped in with 41 percent of the vote (10,256 votes) with Te Pāti Māori's John Tamihere hard on his heels with 37.3 percent, just over 900 short (9329 votes total).

Davidson - who ran a campaign largely focused on the party vote - came in third with 20 percent (5006 votes).

The Māori Party's Pita Sharples held the seat between 2005 and 2014.

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