15 Oct 2023

Surge in support secures four Māori electorates for Te Pāti Māori

8:53 pm on 15 October 2023
Te Pāti Māori electorate wins.

Four electorates were claimed by Te Pāti Māori candidates. Photo: (RNZ and supplied images)

Te Pāti Māori have secured four of the seven Māori electorates and will return to Parliament, which will be fronted by a National-led government.

The party has claimed victory in Waiāriki, Te Tai Hauāuru, Te Tai Tonga and Hauraki-Waikato which gives them four seats in Parliament.

While tight races were run in two of the remaining three electorates, Labour looks set to retain Tāmaki Makaurau, Te Taitokerau and Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi said the results showed voters want to see change and believe that change can be led by Māori.


Rawiri Waititi

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi (file photo). Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Waititi maintained a strong lead in Waiariki throughout election night and with 100 percent of votes counted he is more than 11,000 votes ahead of his closest competitor.

He told supporters gathered in Rotorua on election night that "the tide is turning" and called on Māori and non-Māori voters who were tired of being left behind to throw their support behind his team.

"We welcome Pākeha to our waka. All non-Māori are welcome on our waka, we will listen to you, we will care for you, we will feed you, we will house you and we will make sure you are valued and loved. We will not leave you behind."

He also shared an emotional tribute to his late mother who he described as a pillar of strength and support.

"She was my backbone and kept me strong through any challenges I faced. She always told me to 'work hard and build a brighter future for generations to come, for our mokopuna'."

Waititi pledged Te Pāti Māori would uphold and fulfil those aspirations and forge a future where mokopuna Māori would flourish.

"Our policy platform ensures that we get ourselves well and that we are at our best. Whānau well-being is what drives us and that will never change."

Te Tai Hauāuru

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer (file photo). Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer successfully retained Te Tai Hauāuru with a margin of more than 6000 votes.

Ngarewa-Packer said Māori were hurting and the sway in support across the Māori electorates was the outcome.

She thanked her competitor Soraya Peke-Mason for helping prove political campaigns could be run positively and respectfully.

Soraya Peke-Mason

Labour candidate for Te Tai Hauāuru Soraya Peke-Mason. Photo: RNZ / Katie Scotcher

"I just want to mihi to Soraya, we ran a clean campaign here in Te Tai Hauāuru as whanaunga (relatives). I think that given the climate and everything that we've been dealing with, we showed that we can politic positively.

"We are not the 'virus' and we are not a 'problem' that needs to be punished. We have been viral in our movement, and our people have spoken."

Ngarewa-Packer said Te Pāti Māori candidates across the country should be proud of what they achieved and thanked voters for getting involved and stepping up in this election.

"Our people have come, and they've risen, and they've showed everybody what matters by raising their voices and placing their votes,"

Hauraki- Waikato

Hana-Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke, Te Pāti Māori candidate for Hauraki-Waikato

Hana-Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke (file photo). Photo: Supplied / Erica Sinclair

Kā pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi - As one net is cast aside, a new one takes it place

Hana-Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke has won the Hauraki Waikato electorate, making her the youngest elected MP since 1853.

The victory for Te Pāti Māori marked the beginning of a political career for Maipi-Clarke, 21, and the end for Nanaia Mahuta, 53, after serving 27 years in parliament.

Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta

Labour's Nanaia Mahuta (file photo). Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Mahuta was the 'Mother of the House' and the first female Minister of Foreign Affairs, she was the first female MP to serve in Parliament with a moko kauae and her career span makes her one of the country's longest serving female MPs.

While the race between the two candidates was close, Maipi-Clarke came out ahead by just over 1000 votes, with 100 percent of votes counted.

Nanaia Mahuta called Maipi Clarke yesterday evening to concede and congratulate her.

Te Ao Māori news broadcast the call which saw Mahuta pledge to support Maipi-Clarke in advancing the aspirations of Hauraki Waikato.

She wished her competitor well for the future, but also warned the journey ahead would be challenging as a 'blue wave' was about to hit Parliament.

Maipi-Clarke acknowledged the legacy and huge gains Mahuta achieved for Māori throughout her career and said she was a huge inspiration, not just for her, but young Māori women across the country.

When asked about the challenges ahead and confronting the incoming 'blue wave', Maipi Clarke said coming up against opposition and challenge was nothing new for Māori.

"It doesn't matter if it's a blue wave or red wave, Māori have been in opposition our whole lives, but we survive and we don't give up.

"Māori have always survived and stayed strong in times of crisis, with examples like the floods, like Cyclone Gabrielle, like Covid. Māori came to the forefront, our marae stepped up and supported their communities regardless of their age, race or gender.

"For a long time, I've challenged with the slogan, 'here and never again'... we are here and never again will we be suppressed no matter what the government looks like."

Te Tai Tonga

Te Pāti Māori candidate Tākuta Ferris won Te Tai Tonga electorate.

Te Pāti Māori candidate Tākuta Ferris won Te Tai Tonga electorate (file photo). Photo: Supplied/ Te Pāti Māori

Tākuta Ferris has secured Te Tai Tonga for Te Pāti Māori, ousting Rino Tirikatene of the Labour Party who held the electorate since 2011.

No caption

Labour Party candidate for Te Tai Tonga Rino Tirikatene (file photo). Photo: Dom Thomas

Ferris was with whānau watching the results come in from Whakatū (Nelson) and said despite many saying he ran a stronger campaign in this election, he believed more Māori were choosing to stand up and be heard.

"I think the difference this time is that our people stood up and actually came out during this election. Whatever the result, it's really clear that our people are on the move, our people are more engaged and from here on out, that movement can only get stronger."

Ferris told Te Ao Māori News that he and his colleagues would continue to champion kaupapa Māori no matter what challenges lay ahead in parliament. He called on Māori across the motu to get involved and be a part of genuine change.

"From here on whānau, we've got to just pay more attention, be more present, stand up, know who we are and never back down."

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