Politics | Te Pāti Māori

‘Aotearoa hou, Hawaiki tawhito’ focus for young candidate

Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke. Photo / RNZ

Hauraki Waikato candidate Hana Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke is taking the responsibility of being the “succession plan” for Te Pāti Māori in her stride.

“To take from a very famous rangatira, Kendrick Lamar, ‘Sit down, be humble’.

“Ehara i te mea ko ahau anahe. We’ve had seven generations worth of our reo being lost and of mātauranga. It’s all of us, I just happen to be in the seat for now.”

Te Pāti Māori is running a campaign with ‘Aotearoa Hou’ its focus, with co-leader Rawiri Waititi saying Maipi-Clarke embodies the future of the country.

The 21-year-old Waikato and Ngāpuhi uri says while the party is looking to the future, it won’t be ignoring the past.

“My whakatauki is Aotearoa hou-focused, however Hawaiki tawhito driven, which is implementing the mātauranga that we know will be the survival of our Aotearoa.

Long-term self-sustainability

“For instance, policies like 15 per cent GST off all food is immediate, right now. However, long term like kai sovereignty policies will look into long-term self-sustainability for our people.”

Standing against experienced opponents, including Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and previous Māori Party candidate Donna Pokere-Phillips (now standing for Outdoors and Freedoms NZ) also presents an opportunity for Maipi-Clarke. More than 70 per cent of Māori are under 40, so that is the Aotearoa Hou she is focused on, she says.

“There’s a huge gap, not just in locations, but there’s a huge gap between generations and between languaging. She’s [Mahuta] has been in Parliament longer than I have been alive. For me, we have a succession plan, and I think this will be an almost perfect layer for us to bring in rangatahi, and not just rangatahi but everyone under 40.”

With some political polls indicating Te Pāti Māori could win three seats and therefore bring Maipi-Clarke into Parliament via the list – potentially making her the youngest MP in more than 170 years, she says it is simply the beginning of a movement of youth around the world.

“I think the floodgates will open for a lot of rangatahi Māori, Pacific and indigenous peoples around the world actually.”

Public Interest Journalism