5 Jul 2013

Ikaroa-Rawhiti candidate keen for Maori Party presidency

8:22 am on 5 July 2013

The man who lost the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election for the Maori Party wants to be its new president.

Na Raihania, who came third to Labour and Mana, says he is open to the idea of taking over from president Pem Bird, who will stand down at the party's upcoming AGM.

Na Raihania.

Na Raihania. Photo: MAORI PARTY

The announcement followed Pita Sharples decision to step down as co-leader.

Na Raihania says people have been encouraging him to go for the job and he is willing to give it a go.

He says he has gained a profile from the by-election and he would bring stability and diplomacy to the presidency, as well as the ability to get people organised around the 2014 election.

Mr Raihania says the party needs someone to step up, not aside or away.

Contenders include the chair of Ngati Whatua, Naida Glavish and Auckland business consultant, George Ngatai.

Mr Ngatai says the bid for the role had to be made six-weeks before Pem Bird steps down, which may rule Mr Raihania out.