The Māori party is looking ahead to next year’s general election after selecting Debbie Ngarewa-Packer to contest the Te Tai Hauāuru seat.
Ms Ngarewa-Packer (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Ruahine and Ngā Rauru) is CEO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui and a former Deputy Mayor of South Taranaki District Council.
There is a need for an independent Māori voice in politics, said former Māori Party co-leader Dame Tariana Turia.
“Labour is not Māori and the really sad thing about it is neither are the 13 members who represent Māori voice, they're not Māori either, they're Labour members."
"What we need is a powerful voice who is unafraid to stand up for the issues," said Dame Turia.
“Debbie is a phenomenal leader who is the right person to win back Te Tai Hauāuru” Māori Party President Che Wilson said in a satatement.
“This Government’s actions on issues such as Oranga Tamariki and Ihumātao show how desperately our people need an independent kaupapa Māori voice in Parliament."
"Debbie is that voice, she is ready to hit the ground running as a fierce advocate for our people."
Ms Ngarewa-Packer said it's a huge honour to be selected.
"We need a representative who will fight for our solutions, every moment of every day.
"I am unwavering in my resolve that they deserve better."