10 Dec 2013

Turia touts candidate as possible co-leader

6:32 am on 10 December 2013

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia believes the party's new Te Tai Hauauru candidate has the right skills and attitude to become a co-leader of the party when she retires.

The party picked Ngati Raukawa man Chris McKenzie to stand in the western Maori seat when Mrs Turia retires next year, having held the electorate since 2002 when she was a Labour MP.

Mrs Turia says even in his work as a Maori Party strategist, Mr McKenzie isn't afraid to tell the party which direction it should be heading in.

He brings invaluable experience to the table, such as being an iwi leader hand picked by his own tribal elders, she says.

Mr McKenzie has been working in the party's office for about 18 months and is careful about the way he approaches things while still being assertive. As well, he has never been afraid to tell the Maori Party if he believes it can do things better.

The votes that came in for Mr McKenzie from the rangatahi sector of the Maori Party were strongly in favour of him, Mrs Turia says.