Whakatau 2023 | Te Tai Tokerau

Te Tai Tokerau: Will Davis tighten his hold or a new champion arise?

The battle for Te Tai Tokerau goes live with presenter Tina Wickliffe at 7pm on Whaakata Māori, MĀORI+ and Photo: File / Whakaata Māori

Are voters ready for new blood, or will Labour continue to dominate the Te Tai Tokerau electorate?

That’s the question for tonight’s Whakatau 2023 debate between candidates Mariameno Kapa-Kingi (Te Pāti Māori), Hūhana Lyndon (Green Party) and current king Kelvin Davis (Labour).

The electorate is another Labour stronghold held by Davis since 2014, having taken it from previous MP Hone Harawira, who had held it since 2005.

Though the 2014 result was close, with Davis winning by 743 votes, every election since has seen his majority stretch further. 2020′s result had him win more than half of the total votes counted, with an 8,164 majority over second-placed Mariameno Kapa-Kingi.

But since that 2020 result, Davis has been in a constant up-and-down, especially with his work as the government’s Minister for Children. In this role, Oranga Tamariki has had the spotlight shone on its dismal handling of youth in state care, with the latest problems only months ago. And, as Corrections Minister, he has reduced prisoner numbers but also seen part of a prison burned down by prisoners. He is also the deputy leader of Labour.

Second go for Te Pāti Maori

Kapa-Kingi is back for her second crack at the electorate under Te Pāti Māori, bringing her decades of experience in iwi social services and governance to the fore. She is also a passionate advocate for tamariki, announcing a mokopuna Māori policy to take tamariki out of state care and placed back with whānau at the last election.

Though not a stranger to politics, with two stands in local elections, Hūhana Lyndon is a newcomer to the Greens at this level and brings lots of familiarity across health, education and primary industries at many levels.

Lyndon has also held chief executive roles for the Ngāti Wai Trust Board and the Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust, and she is ranked at 10 on her party list.

Others in the fight include Maki Herbert (Atoearoa Legalise Cannabis Party) and Independent Paturiri Toautu.

The candidates are fighting for the slice of paradise that begins at Cape Reinga and ends at Auckland’s North Shore, at the Harbour Bridge, and reaches part of West Auckland, including Te Atatū South, Sunnyvale, Swanson and Waitākere City.

Join Tina Wickliffe tonight at 7:00 PM on Whakaata Māori, MĀORI+, and on for the three-way battle of Te Tai Tokerau between Kelvin Davis, Mariameno Kapa-Kingi and Hūhana Lyndon.

Public Interest Journalism