Rawiri Waititi expected to take over from John Tamihere as Māori Party co-leader

Rawiri Waititi is positioned to take over from John Tamihere as Māori Party co-leader, set to be the party’s only member with a seat in Parliament.

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As the Waiariki electorate winner, Tamihere said Waititi would be the party’s "only voice" in Parliament. Source: Q+A

Waititi last night won the Waiariki electorate over Labour’s Tamati Coffey, though special votes have not yet been compiled and Coffey hasn’t yet conceded defeat.

Tamihere this morning told TVNZ1’s Q+A it would “100%” be the right move for Waititi to take over from him.

“It follows that our only voice back in the house, a liberated voice, an unapologetic voice for Māori must be the co-leader.

“We can’t preempt that but the vote will happen I imagine.”

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Tamihere said he would stay on as the party’s Tāmaki Makaurau candidate for the 2023 campaign. 

Waititi said his win ensures the party’s voice is heard.

“This was our plan, was to get the waka back on the water...we’re ready to go as a rejuvenated waka. Come 2023, it’s game on,” said Waititi.

“We’ve run an unapologetic campaign and there’s an unapologetic uprising in our people and that’s the difference between this rejuvenated party and maybe other parties in the past.”