New Zealand Rugby's Māori rugby programme manager and former Marae reporter Cushla Tangaere-Manuel will contest the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti seat for Labour at the upcoming election.
Tangaere-Manuel was previously Ngāti Porou East Coast (NPEC) rugby union chief executive for nine years.
Prior to her role in sports administration, she was a reporter on Marae, fronted Māori TV's Māorioke talent show and produced numerous shows for TV.
"Cushla has the skills, experience, work ethic and values to advocate for Māori and will complement our strong Labour Māori Caucus whānau," Labour Māori election chair Willie Jackson said.
"Cushla is well known and highly regarded in the electorate having served as the CEO of the mighty sky blue Ngāti Porou East Coast (NPEC) rugby union, the only iwi-based union, for nine years.
"On her watch at NPEC she turned the club around both on the field and off, from being in overdraft to annual surpluses, building a new headquarters and growing the number of representative teams.
"She has paved the way for other wahine to succeed in sport administration. She was chair of the Heartland Secretariat in 2021, a difficult year due to Covid-19, and was appointed as Māori rugby programme manager at New Zealand Rugby.
"Cushla is a strong wahine toa and certainly no push over! I am confident she will win Ikaroa-Rāwhiti and continue the long history of Labour representation in the electorate," Jackson said.
"I am honoured to be confirmed as the candidate for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, starting in a new page in my career," Tangaere-Manual said.
"Above all, running in this election is about serving our people. Ikaroa-Rāwhiti deserve to have a strong candidate in order to deliver much needed resources especially as we recover from Cyclone Gabrielle," she said.