23 Dec 2013

Labour's Tai Hauauru candidate anti-mining

8:03 am on 23 December 2013

Labour Party contender for Te Tai Hauauru says he's inclined to oppose any mining in the area because tangata whenua don't want it.

The former Ngati Apa chairman and Ratana Church member Adrian Rurawhe will contest the electorate, which covers north Taranaki down the West Coast to Porirua.

Mr Rurawhe says mining and deep sea drilling is a big issue, especially around Mount Taranaki.

He would say no to it because of potential environmental impacts, he says, adding Maori tend to be risk averse for a good reason.

Mr Rurawhe says Maori have a strong connection to tangaroa (sea) and papatuanuku (earth), and don't want to hand over an environment to the next generation which has been partially destroyed by an oil spill or something unforeseeable.

Maori Party candidate unfazed by competition

The Maori Party candidate for the seat, Chris McKenzie, says he's confident he'll get the votes at next year's election even though he is not a Ratana Church member.

The Ngati Raukawa man was chosen by the Maori Party to replace the retiring MP for the western Maori seat, Tariana Turia, when she stands down at the general election.

Mr McKenzie says although Mrs Turia has strong affiliations to the Ratana movement, his whakapapa links to the north and south of the electorate and he says his abilities make him totally viable.

He says he knows, Adrian Rurawhe, who is standing against him, and wishes him well. But Mr McKenzie says voters will look into their hearts and pick the candidate they believe will bring greatest value.

He says he will be aiming his campaign at the under 40-year-old age group considering the Maori population in the electorate is predominantly young and needs the most encouragement to go to the polling booth.