16 May 2013

Elders ask Henare O'Keefe to stand in Ikaroa-Rawhiti

6:30 am on 16 May 2013

A Hastings man honoured with a Queen's Service Medal says elders have urged him to stand as the Labour Party's candidate for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate.

Henare O'Keefe, a Justice of the Peace and a Hastings District Council member, has agreed to put his name forward for nomination.

He was given the Queen's Service Medal for his contribution to Maori and the community in 2011.

Mr O'Keefe says some members within the Labour Party also asked him to stand.

He says that opened the door for him, which he says he's chosen to step through.

Mr O'Keefe says he wants Maori to move from being employees to owning and operating businesses such as freezing works.

He says a way to achieve that goal is through education.

The Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election will be held at the end of June.