English tipped as Māori favourite to replace Key

By Talisa Kupenga

Prime Minister John Key's shock resignation announcement caught many kiwis off-guard, but some Māori are saying they are pleased to see the back of him. What will a change of National leadership mean for Māori, the Māori economy and who of his predecessors would best represent Māori interests. 

With a number of names tipped to take the top spot in the beehive, who will fare best with Māori?

Bill is looking like the favourite to replace John Key.

Māori might be pleased with Key's resignation because over the years many Māori were not his biggest fans.

Former politician Willie Jackson says it was Key's idea to align with The Maori Party, English sits as both Minister of Finance and Key's deputy. So if English takes Key's place what would this mean for the Māori economy?

Federation of Māori Authorities Chairman Traci Houpapa says, "It's a fact that Māori have done very well under a National-Maori Party coalition we expect that to continue. We have confidence in the Prime Minister's endorsement of Bill English, we have worked with him in the past. We recognise that for any Government, for any caucus to have five imminently qualified, experienced and able potential leaders, potential prime ministers within the Party is a strong position to be in. We have confidence that caucus will choose the best leader for them."    

Minister of Education Hekia Parata says if she was staying she would not be tossing her name in the ring, but her money is on English.

"The tribes and Māori feel that he has listened to their issues respectfully which is one of the reasons he has my support."

Come Monday the country will know who will fill Key's shoes.