22 Sep 2014

Election 'ugly and divisive' for Maori

7:21 pm on 22 September 2014

A campaigner for the winner of the Western Māori seat says the election was divisive for Maori, causing splits within some whanau due to differences in political allegiances.

Adrian Rurawhe, new MP for Te Tai Hauauru.

Adrian Rurawhe. Photo: RNZ / Laura Bootham

The Tai Hauauru electorate had previously been held by outgoing Maori Party MP Tariana Turia, but Adrian Rurawhe beat Maori Party contender Chris McKenzie to clinch the seat on Saturday.

Grace Taiaroa said while Mr Rurawhe's win is very exciting, the election itself was very ugly and Maori in the different parties ended up having issues with each other.

Ms Taiaroa said relationships have been damaged and in some cases people 'unfriended' others on Facebook if they did not agree with their political preference.

She believed Maoridom needs to be united in order to bring about change and be smarter in their approach.

Maori need to get rid of the personalities and be true to what tangata whenua need as a people overall, she said.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs