Political strategist Chris McKenzie has been named as the
Maori Party's candidate for the Te Tai Hauauru electorate.
He has been selected this weekend as the person to replace
party co-leader Tariana Turia who is stepping down as MP at
next year's general election.
Mr McKenzie, 44, is a political strategist with a senior
management, small business governance and iwi leadership
A father of four, he and his wife Mal moved to Tawa from his
home town of Tokoroa.
Previous roles have included being the lead Treaty settlement
negotiator for Ngati Raukawa, a self-employed consultant,
education manager at Raukawa Trust Board and teacher at
Tokoroa High School.
He is a member of the Te Ohu Kaimoana electoral college,
former chairman of the Raukawa Settlement Trust and just
recently gained a Masters Degree in Business Administration.
Mr McKenzie was one of six people vying for the nomination
and withstood the challenge of some strong contenders.
Among them were Rahui Katene, who was the Maori Party MP for
Te Tai Tonga from 2008-11, before losing out to Labour's Rino
Tirikatene, Taumarunui social worker Frana Chase,
businesswoman Amokura Panoho who lives in Waitara, counsellor
and social worker James Makowharemahihi (Porirua), and
teacher and academic Pakake Winiata from Otaki.
Making the announcement today, Mrs Turia said Mr McKenzie was
smart beyond his years, related well to both young and old
people, "loves our people and really wants to make a
difference for them".
"Chris has proven he's a fighter for the people of his iwi
and now he'll be able to share that quality with the people
and iwi of Tai Hauauru," she said.
"He knows how our people work, how the system works and with
him at the helm, I have no worries retiring because I know
our people will be in good and capable hands," Mrs Turia
The party's president Naida Glavish said electorate support
for Mr McKenzie would protect and grow what Mrs Turia had
fought so hard for. These included Whanau Ora, maintaining
the Maori seats, addressing poverty as a collective
responsibility and Maori training initiatives.
- By John Maslin of the Wanganui Chronicle