National | Elections

Te Tai Tokerau candidates continue to fire

It's crunch time in this election and the candidates in Te Tai Tokerau are continuing to fire.

Te Hira Paenga is still fiercely campaigning in the electorate, despite being asked to stand aside by his own party.

This is what Te Hira Paenga said to Te Kāea yesterday.  “I really saw how divisive the proposed strategy could be.”

Yes, he didn't like the strategy one bit.

“It's nothing to me.  I've always known this is politics, you know, pulling people down,” he said.

However, today he said the context in which Te Kāea used his statement wasn't accurate.

He wanted to explain, but said he had been told to keep quiet by those at the top.  However, Māori Party member Sonny Tau was more than willing to air his anger over the strategy.

“I was so angry that I instantly contacted Naida (Glavish) and it ended there.  We killed it from there,” says Sonny Tau.

Willie Jackson says, “I know Te Hira is very frustrated.  I saw Te Hira last night, he's very annoyed with the Māori Party at the moment.”

That was Willie Jackson to Te Kāea yesterday, confirming Paenga's frustration.  Willie Jackson says he has every right.

Sonny Tau said, “That will be the first major issue that we of Te Tai Tokerau put on the table at our first meeting following the elections.”

The issue stemmed given the close race in Te Tai Tokerau with just 1% between Hone Harawira and Kelvin Davis, according to the polls.  That sparked endorsements from John Key and Winston Peters.

Te Hira Paenga will certainly need to hold fast to their slogan, Māori Party - Tū Māori Mai.