National | Debate

NZ’s only cross-party debate in te reo Māori

So far three out of seven debates have taken place at Māori TV as part of Whakatau 2020 / Source: File

Māori Television will televise New Zealand’s only te reo Māori cross-party debate on Tuesday, October 6, as part of its Whakatau 2020 election debates.

Although the focus for the station is the Māori seats, Māori TV CEO Shane Taurima says the debate in the Māori language provides candidates from a range of political parties the opportunity to have their say.

“It is really important for Māori to see and hear political issues in te reo Māori and our national cross-party debate will allow this to happen,” Taurima says.

Candidates speaking at the debate include the Labour Party's Peeni Henare, Shane Jones of NZ First, Teanau Tuiono of the Green Party, Rawiri Waititi from the Māori Party and Sonny Wilcox of Vision NZ.

They will each represent their parties on the debate at 7pm tomorrow night. Viewers can watch on Māori TV, on the Māori TV website and live on the Te Ao Facebook page.

So far three of seven debates have taken place at Māori TV as part of Whakatau 2020.


Peeni Henare is the sitting Labour MP for Tāmaki Makaurau, Minister of Civil Defence, Whānau Ora, and Youth and Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) and Tourism.

Shane Jones is New Zealand First’s candidate for Northland and is the Minister for Regional Economic Development, Minister of Forestry, Associate Minister of Finance, Minister for Infrastructure, Associate Minister for State-Owned Enterprises, and Associate Minister of Transport.

Teanau Tuiono is No 8 on the Green Party list and is based in Palmerston North.  He is passionate about justice for people and the planet, working with diverse communities to make Aotearoa a great place to live.

Rawiri Waititi is the Māori candidate for Waiariki. He believes in equality for all and is committed to representing and advocating for his people and Aotearoa whānui. As a fluent speaker of te reo Māori, he is committed to the preservation and maintenance of the language. He also recognises the importance of education.

Sonny Wilcox is a candidate for Manurewa. He is concerned for the future of New Zealand in particular the loss of national identity, values and principles. He is also concerned about the health and wellbeing of vulnerable whānau and communities.