22 Aug 2011

New Tai Tokerau candidate says Hone not good for the electorate

7:11 pm on 22 August 2011

The new Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Waihoroi Shortland, says he wants to reclaim the electorate from political oblivion.

Mr Shortland, the chair of Ngati Hine - Ngapuhi's largest sub-tribe, is a 59-year-old father and grandfather.

He has a high profile as an actor, broadcaster and Maori language teacher.

Mr Shortland says he's standing because he believes the present MP, the Mana leader Hone Harawira, is not good for Te Tai Tokerau.

"No one wants to talk with him, no one wants to work with him - how can Te Tai Tokerau gain if that's the position you're in going forward."

Mr Shortland says as Tai Tokerau born and bred he could not allow that to happen.

He says he will step aside from his role as Ngati Hine runanga chair during the election campaign.

Mr Shortland put himself forward to stand for the Maori Party in the by-election for Te Tai Tokerau in July, but the the party names Solomon Tipene as its candidate.

He came a distant third in the by-election.

Mr Shortland says Mr Tipene decided not to seek nomination this time.