29 May 2012

Te Tai Tonga MP getting help in Christchurch

6:31 am on 29 May 2012

Christchurch East MP Leanne Dalziel has confirmed she has had to pick up some of Rino Tirikatene's Christchurch work, but says it is because her Labour colleague is so busy.

Mr Tirikatene represents the Maori electorate of Te Tai Tonga, an area which includes all of the South Island, Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands and Wellington.

Former Maori Party MP Rahui Katene has accused Mr Tirikatene of ignoring people who need his help in Christchurch.

Ms Katene claims he is referring Maori constituents to Pakeha MPs in Christchurch.

Ms Dalziel says MPs have always stepped up to help the Te Tai Tonga representative, as the area is so large.

She says Mr Tirikatene has frequently been down in Christchurch and he also has a staff member based there.