The Māori Party has named Howie Tamati of Ngāti Mutunga, Te Ātiawa and Ngāi Tahu as its candidate for the Te Tai Hauāuru seat, which was held for 12 years by its founder Tariana Turia.
"Howie has the reach we need to win this seat, even Māori people who don't vote know him," Māori Party President Tukoroirangi Morgan said.
"Howie is a true son of Taranaki, of Te Tai Hauāuru and of Aotearoa who we know will be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to mobilising Māori to vote for him and our party.
It is an important electorate for the Māori Party, with its founder, Tariana Turia, holding it for 12 years before her retirement in 2014.
It was then lost to Labour Party MP Adrian Rurawhe at the 2014 election.
Mr Tamati was a New Plymouth Councillor for 15 years and a former top rugby league player and coach.
"I want to use the reach I have with grassroots Māori in the electorate, throughout the country and in Australia to ensure Māori have a voice in Parliament and seats at the table where decisions are made that affect them," Mr Tamati said.
The seat extends from Putaruru and Tokoroa in the north to Porirua in the south.