King Tuheitia endorses Rahui Papa for Hauraki Waikato candidacy

By Mānia Clarke

Te Ara Taura Chair Rahui Papa has confirmed he will put his name forward to contest the Māori Party candidacy in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate and the Māori King endorsed the move at Waikato's Paraawera Marae poukai, the first of the poukai round.

Māori Party Nominee Rahui Papa told Te Kāea, “I've put my name forward as a candidate for this electorate.”

Māori Party president Tukuroirangi Morgan says the King's endorsement is a game changer.

“Everything will change because of what the King has done because all the marae within the Hauraki-Waikato electorate will adhere to the words of the King.”

In a surprise unscripted moment during his address at his 10th Coronation last year, King Tuheitia showed his political leanings, which supported a Māori Party and Mana alliance and criticised Labour.

Morgan says, “This is the ultimate endorsement.  Furthermore, there's nothing more wonderful, and the Māori Party acknowledges the support from the King. Because of this political doors will open to Rahui.”

Papa says, “The principals of the King Movement is to consider all issues oppressing our people, such as housing issues, poverty, employment opportunities.”

Today the King took issue with the quick ascension of Labours new deputy leader, as opposed to veteran Nanaia Mahuta.

“This is not about dirty politics against each other.  My sister's an integral woman and she's kept her integrity.  Unlike the leaders with in her Party.”

The Māori Party is expected to make an announcement following its selection processes in the next few weeks, which needs to be approved by the Party's council and signed off by their President.