14 Oct 2014

Strong support spurs Mahuta's bid

7:20 pm on 14 October 2014

Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta says the strong support shown by Maori and Pacific voters in this year's election has inspired her to run for the Labour Party leadership.

Nanaia Mahuta.

Nanaia Mahuta. Photo: RNZ

Ms Mahuta made the announcement today and joins David Parker, Grant Robertson and Andrew Little as contenders for the top job.

Ms Mahuta not only retained her seat, but increased her majority by 760 votes since the 2011 election. She and five other Labour MPs won or retained six of the seven Maori electorates.

Nanaia Mahuta says her candidacy for the leadership is a way of acknowledging the overwhelming support that Maori have given to Labour.

The Tainui descendant says her party can learn from the base of support that was demonstrated across the Maori seats.

She believes Labour needs to reconnect with tangata whenua and their communities, and her bid for the party's leadership is a way to start that effort.

The new leader will be chosen by an electoral college made up of 40 percent caucus votes, 40 percent from party membership and 20 percent from affiliated unions.

The first hustings meeting is in Wellington next Wednesday, and the winner will be announced on 18 November.

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