Whakatau 2023 | Māori Electorates

Labour, Te Pati Māori prep for political battle of Te Tai Tonga

Te Pāti Māori’s Tākuta Ferris up against Labour’s Rino Tirikatene for Whakatau 2023′s delayed third debate tonight at 8pm.

Will the Māori seat of Te Tai Tonga follow dynasty or destiny?

Te Tai Tonga, the largest electorate in the country, has been held by Labour MP Rino Tirikatene for more than a decade. His family has mostly held the seat since it was established.

Taking Tirikatene on is Te Pāti Māori’s Tākuta Ferris this year, who is trying to take Te Tai Tonga for the second time.

Te Tai Tonga includes all of Te Waipounamu, Rakiura/Stewart Island, and Rēkohu, Chatham Islands, extending into the North Island to include Te Whanganui-a-Tara and parts of the Hutt Valley as far north as Avalon.

The 2020 election had seasoned politician Tirikatene winning comfortably, with more than 50 per cent of the votes, and Ferris in second place, taking 26.2 per cent. That year, Tirikatene had a majority of 6,855 over Ferris.

In fact, since taking the electorate in 2011 from Te Pāti Māori’s Rāhui Katene, Tirikatene has built his reputation to go from 40 per cent of the votes to increasing them every election.

From kapa haka to diplomacy, Ferris is looking to build on his few years of experience in politics. His first year was impressive, winning 7,422 of the 28,326 votes counted and came second out of six other candidates in 2020.,

Gaining experience with a revamped Te Pāti Māori, under the co-leadership of Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi, could make his second time the charm to cross the finish line victorious - albeit needing a very big win over the current throne holder.

Join presenter Tina Wickliffe tonight at 7pm on Whakaata Māori, MĀORI+ and on for the Whakatau 2023 Te Tai Tonga debate.

Public Interest Journalism