Tauranga Maori Business Association was expecting a lively debate about unemployment and the local economy at a political meeting at Huria Marae in the suburb of Judea on Tuesday night.
Chairman Buddy Mikaere says the candidates, from the Maori, Mana and Labour parties, are standing for the Maori electorate of Waiariki, which covers most of Bay of Plenty as well as Taupo.
He says joblessness is having a negative effect on many Maori families in the electorate. Maori make up a large proportion of the 10% of Tauranga's population out of work at the end of June.
Of the 10,400 unemployed in the region, the largest single group were young people aged between 18 and 24, of which over half were Maori.
He says as well as unemployment, local people would like aspiring Waiaraki members to state their parties' intentions in respect of getting more Maori involvement in business, particularly in the local economy.
Mr Mikaere says there is a lot of interest in the Tuesday night meeting and he expects a big turnout.