17 Nov 2011

Job creation a priority for Hauraki-Waikato candidates

10:48 am on 17 November 2011

Candidates standing in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate say boosting the number of jobs and child welfare are their top priorities

Labour's Nanaia Mahuta has held Hauraki-Waikato seat since it was formed three years ago.

A newcomer to politics standing for the Maori Party, Tau Bruce Mataki, is also bidding for the electorate vote.

He has a background in the Defence Force, where he passed the elite SAS selection course but was not able to serve because he was injured playing rugby overseas.

Mr Mataki told Radio New Zealand's Te Manu Korihi that one of his top priorities is getting people into work.

He says he has a plan to create employment, by calling on the hundreds of Maori organisations in the electorate to each take on two Maori young people.

Nanaia Mahuta, who in opposition is the spokesperson for Maori social development, also wants to create more jobs but has a different idea of how that will happen.

She says there's a huge opportunity in aquaculture under legislation started by Labour and finished by the National Party.

Another contender is Angeline Greensill, who stood for the Maori Party last election and has sincce switched to the Mana Party, attracted by the new movement's philosophy and direction.

Ms Greensill is taking a break from lecturing at Waikato University in areas such as colonial treaties.

She says child welfare is a top priority, and argues the government should not be spending money on low priorities such as yacht races, bailing out finance companies and sending troops to Afghanistan, but instead using that money to help children in low decile schools.

Nanaia Mahuta won the seat in 2008 with a majority of 888.