Politics | Green Party

Wāhine Māori gearing up for election contests

Soraya Peke-Mason is ready to carry on a family tradition of a long association with the Labour party.

She has been confirmed as Labour's candidate to contest the Te Tai Hauāuru Māori electorate, vacated by her whanaunga, Adrian Rūrawhe, who is standing as a list candidate only.

Peke-Mason, who lives at Rātana, has been in Parliament since 2022 when former Speaker Trevor Mallard resigned and Rurawhe took over, says it's humbling to be in the House and serve her people at this level.

"I reflect and stand strong on the petihana that T.W. Ratana set down because to me what that says is it’s about two great nations coming together,” she says.

Peke-Mason spent 12 years on the Rangitikei District Council and chaired her iwi, Ngāti Rangi, through its Treaty settlement.

She is standing against Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, who finished just over 1000 votes behind Rūrawhe last time, while National List MP Harete Hipango has put her hand up for her party's nomination in the seat. Peke-Mason isn't phased about the standard of candidates in the seat.

Labour and Green parties bring their best electorate candidates forward.

“I have great support behind me. I have a fantastic team behind me and that includes Adrian as well given that we're whānau that helps a lot. So with all the networks I already have and my iwi networks, and my life experiences, people can see what I've already done.

“My focus will be to advocate, to influence, to support kaupapa Māori in all the discussions to do with policy and policy decision making.”

Lyndon high on Greens' list

Meanwhile, Hūhana Lyndon has quickly risen through the Green Party ranks. She was confirmed as the party's Te Tai Tokerau candidate in February., and today was given an initial ranking of eighth when the party revealed its initial list.

That puts her ahead of current MP Golriz Ghahraman (ninth) and former Auckland mayoral candidate Fa'anānā Efeso Collins.

Lyndon said it's an honour for her and her iwi.

"It was a surprise because I am unapologetically Māori but I also have a great environmental focus, and a focus on families. I really acknowledge this announcement from the Green Party."

Lyndon has had a strong presence in iwi affairs across the Northland region, but to be successful will first have to beat Labour's deputy leader, Kelvin Davis, who has held the Te Tai Tokerau seat since 2014.

But the current chief executive of Ngātiwai says the Greens are determined to have a voice for the north.

"That is why Huhana, the descendent of the far north is advocating for those environmental and family wellbeing issues at this time.”