The Maori Party has spiced up the election campaign with the
news that it will challenge for the Whanganui electorate for
a second time.
Nancy Tuaine, currently chief executive of Te Oranganui iwi
health authority in Wanganui, will carry the party flag in
the September election.
A Treaty negotiator and former head of the Whanganui River
Maori Trust Board, Ms Tuaine also served on the Whanganui
District Health Board.
She told the Chronicle that while she expected her name would
probably attract some party votes, her decision was bigger
"Sure, it will help the party vote, but the Maori Party has
been doing some great work and we have shown we can work with
any electorate. It's broader than just our party and we are
able to bring a solid foundation that goes well beyond
Ms Tuaine said for that reason her candidacy was not simply
about targeting Maori who were not on the Maori roll.
She said the party had generated strong support across the
Whanganui electorate and she wanted to tap into that
She also wanted to "stand alongside" Chris McKenzie, who is
the Maori Party candidate in the Maori electorate of Te Tai
"This is about showing people that we represent everyone."
The party contested general electorates with 62 candidates in
2005, including Aaron Makutu in Whanganui, who finished in
The party is due to announce its full list when nominations
officially open on August 21.
Ms Tuaine said that with her announcement her campaign was
just starting and she would be taking some time off work
closer to the election on September 20.
"What I want the electorate to know is that I can represent
She said she did consider standing in Te Tai Hauauru when
party co-leader Tariana Turia announced her retirement but
decided against it.
"Really, it was a matter of timing more than anything. And I
had to consider my position at Te Oranganui, because Te Tai
Hauauru electorate is huge.
"Another thing is I'm very much committed to this region and
my job, and meantime that won't change," she said.
Ms Tuaine said her decision demonstrated the Maori Party had
a place as a Treaty partner and she wanted to support the new
generation of candidates who had proven records of working
for their people and in their communities. She said the
signing of the Whanganui River Deed of Settlement this week
signalled a new start in the country's development.
"I totally believe that the Maori Party has been an effective
example of how the Maori world view can enhance the
governance of the nation and I want to be part of that," she