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  • Te Tai Tokerau: The Battle of the comeback kings

    By Harata Brown| harata.brown@tvnz.co.nz |@ha_ra_ta

    The Tai Tokerau electorate is the North’s battleground between Māori politics comeback kings, Labour Deputy Kelvin Davis and Mana Leader Hone Harawira. While the Green Party have put up Auckland based teacher Godfried Rudolph to contest the electorate, we predict he won’t stand a chance against Ngāpuhi’s seasoned politicians. 

    Davis made the ultimate breakthrough at the last general election in 2014. He finally trumped long-time political rival Hone Harawira winning the coveted Te Taitokerau seat after three failed attempts. Before that, Davis’ tenure as MP was secured by virtue of the Labour list.

    Fast forward to 2017 and both protagonists are both mounting a comeback campaign of sorts. Harawira is returning to his political roots to win back the hearts and minds of Te Tai Tokerau.

    After a disastrous merger with German business mogul Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party, this time, he’s standing on his own mana. The Māori Party have agreed not to stand a candidate against Harawira. This could be decisive. At the last election, The Māori party candidate garnered 2,579 votes, and in the end, Davis won by a slim majority of 743 votes.

    As we all know, Davis is now the deputy leader of Labour, the first Māori to hold such a position. This status places him number 2 on the list and a guaranteed return to parliament whatever the electorate result.

    This has led the Mana/Māori parties talking up a Tai Tokerau ‘2 for 1 deal’.

    But Davis is sending a clear message to Te Tai Tokerau that he wants to come back to parliament as their electorate MP. He reckons he’ll give Tai Tokerau 2 for 1 all right – first as electorate MP, second as Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand. 

    (Aired on 21/08): While the race for Te Tai Tokerau is heating up between comeback kings, the Labour Party's Deputy Kelvin Davis and Mana leader Hone Harawira, reporter Harata Brown headed north to find more about the people of Te Tai Tokerau and some of the major issues they're facing.

    (Aired on 30/08): Mana leader Hone Harawira is back on the campaign trail trying to make his ultimate comeback to parliament. The former Tai Tokerau MP has gone back to his roots and have made amends with his former colleagues in the Māori Party in a bid to win back the hearts of Te Tai Tokerau.

    (Aired on 12/09): Labour deputy leader and Te Tai Tokerau candidate, Kelvin Davis, is still refusing to do a deal with Hone Harawira over the coveted seat. The Mana leader is promoting a two for one deal with voters. He wants people to give him their electorate vote as Davis is assured of a return to parliament by virtue of the Labour list. But what do the people think?


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