The man chosen by the Mana Party to contest Te Tai Tonga says he is standing for the movement because it is open to people of all ethnicities.
Clinton Dearlove will launch his campaign to contest the Southern Maori seat on Wednesday.
The science graduate-turned-schoolteacher says he has been approached by National and Labour but was immediately attracted to Mana by the very meaning of the word.
Mr Dearlove says he joined Mana because the party appeals to people of different heritage and culture.
The 38-year-old bilingual te reo Maori speaker says his experience in the classroom has shown him that Pakeha, Asian, Polynesian and Maori children all struggle under the same system.
He says the Mana Party has a broad scope, recognising that each individual has their own mana.