10 Mar 2017

"Nanaia stands on her own Mana"

From Morning Report, 8:20 am on 10 March 2017

The Maori King has taken a bold step and put his reputation on the line by backing the Maori Party for the safe Labour seat of Hauraki-Waikato.

King Tuheitia - pictured at Turangawaewae in August 2016

King Tuheitia - pictured at Turangawaewae in August 2016 Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

Speaking yesterday at Paaraawera Marae, Kingi Tuheitia backed tribal leader and prospective Maori Party candidate, Rahui Papa.  

And he went a step further taking sitting MP Nanaia Mahuta, his cousin, to task.

He said she was destined for the backbenches were there is "no mana".

Ms Mahuta told RNZ yesterday she wasn't at the marae to hear the comments and says they were bizarre and beggar belief.

Tukoroirangi Morgan told Morning Report Nanaia Mahuta had achieved nothing in her 20 years in Parliament and her days are numbered.

He says "there is no doubt that the endorsement by the King has changed the game in Hauraki-Waikato and there will be a new Member of Parliament."

But the Labour Party strategist Matt McCarten told Morning Report Mr Morgan is remembered for three things: Underpants, betraying Winston Peters, and losing the seat to Nanaia.

He says Nanaia Mahuta is held in very high demand. "Nanaia stands on her own Mana. She's royalty anyway. She doesn't need me to defend her and she's won that seat for six elections in a row."