21 Jun 2023

Heather Te Au Skipworth steps down from Te Pāti Māori

10:36 am on 21 June 2023
Heather Te Au-Skipworth, Māori Party candidate for Ikaroa-Rawhiti

Heather Te Au Skipworth Photo: Supplied.

Former Ikaroa-Rāwhiti candidate for Te Pāti Māori, Heather Te Au Skipworth, says she is no longer standing for the party for personal reasons.

Skipworth was announced as the party's candidate for the eastern Māori seat before being replaced by ex-Labour minister Meka Whaitiri, her cousin.

She was going to stand in the Tukituki electorate instead, but told Morning Report she wants to focus on establishing her business.

"I've stepped aside for personal reasons… I've taken a lot of factors into account. My whānau and I are content, I just want to focus on my business I'm about to establish, and Iron Māori."

It was no secret it was a very hard decision to step aside for Whaitiri, she said.

"But I have no regrets."

She said she had loved her journey with Te Pāti Māori.,

"I've learnt lots, I've met beautiful people. Sometimes when people leave a party, unfortunately the media try to play it out that it's a bad thing. It just allows me to reflect on my current path.

"It's not a singular-person journey when you go into politics, as I said, there's been reciprocal gains with myself and the party and I'm leaving with the focus of I'm not out of politics, I've just closed a chapter for now and I'm having a political pause."

Skipworth was not planning to stand for any other party at this stage.

"I'm not an aspiring politician, I aspire to do what's right for our people and I'm not chasing that political space. I'm having a political pause and I'm going to reflect."

  • Te Pāti Māori confirms Heather Skipworth for Tukituki electorate
  • Meka Whaitiri speaks on her departure from Labour