19 Sep 2023

Labour, Te Pāti Māori in tight race for Te Tai Hauāuru

8:01 pm on 19 September 2023
Soraya Peke-Mason and Debbie Ngarewa Packer

Soraya Peke-Mason, left, and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer are chasing the seat currently occupied by Labour's Adrian Rurawhe. Photo: RNZ / Katie Scotcher / Angus Dreaver

Labour's Soraya Peke-Mason holds a slim lead in the electorate contest over the Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer in a new poll released tonight.

Peke-Mason is on 34 percent while Ngarewa-Packer is on 29 percent.

Harete Hipango

Harete Hipango Photo: RNZ / Katie Scotcher

Twelve percent favoured National's Harete Hipango, who is the first National candidate to stand in a Māori seat in more than 20 years.

The poll for Whakaata Māori, Māori TV, found 16 percent of voters in Te Tai Hauāuru were still undecided.

Paris Winiata of Vision NZ did not make any showing in the poll.

The seat which is on the western region of the North Island is held by Labour's Adrian Rurawhe, but he is a list-only candidate at this election.

For the party vote Labour attracted 34 percent support, followed by Te Pāti Māori on 22 percent, National on 13 percent, NZ First 7 percent and the Greens on 6.

Chris Hipkins was the preferred prime minister with 32 percent, Winston Peters gained 12 percent support and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer was on 7 percent - ahead of Christopher Luxon on 6.

The cost of living was identified as the single biggest issue for voters in the electorate (27 percent), well ahead of the economy (9 percent), housing (8 percent) taxes and health both on 7 percent.

Among voters under the age of 40, however, honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi was named as the key issue by 11 percent just behind the cost of living and taxes.

The Curia poll of 500 registered voters was carried out last week by landline, mobile and online with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 per cent.

Whakaata Māori released the poll at the launch of its first live debate of the seven Māori seats from its newly opened studio, Hawaikirangi, in East Tāmaki.

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