7 May 2015

Push to involve young Māori in local politics

6:55 am on 7 May 2015

A National list MP of Ngāi Tahu descent is encouraging young Māori individuals to become involved with local community boards to advocate for tāngata whenua.

Tutehounuku Korako

Tutehounuku (Nuk) Korako Photo: SUPPLIED / National Party

Tutehounuku (Nuk) Korako is a National list MP based in the Port Hills near Christchurch and the chair of the Māori Affairs Select Committee.

He said Whanganui man Adrian Te Patu, who is a board member of the Lyttelton-Mt Herbert Community Board, has been endorsed by Ngāi Tahu.

Mr Korako said Mr Te Patu was a good example of how individual Māori could work in a predominantly Pākehā environment to make positive changes for tāngata whenua.

He said that was what he was trying to encourage among other Māori.

"And that's what I'm working on behind the scenes, you know to try and advocate for a lot more Māori [to do this]", Mr Korako said.

"Talking to younger Māori, to those that are at university doing political science and all of that, trying to get our young people involved in whatever party. It doesn't have to just be the National Party, it can be right across the board."

Mr Korako said, while it was still good to have Māori seats in Parliament and to have plenty of young leaders wanting to stand in those seats, he said Māori needed to get out of their comfort zone and stand in general seats and join local community boards or councils.