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New Nat candidate: Lesbian, Maori, ex-Labour

Saturday 13 Aug 2011 6:19 p.m.

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The National Party has recruited a lesbian, Maori, former-Grassroots Labour supporter who is expected to take a top list spot and seat in Parliament.

Claudette Hauiti, who is in a civil union and raising a child with her partner, admits she “ticks all the boxes” on National’s representation scale.

Ms Hauiti says “I’m not made up of one particular thing, I’m made up of many things….my iwitanga…I’m also an urban Maori, I’m also a business woman…I’m also a mother and all those things help build a very strong character for the National Party”.

“I’ve had an excellent run to become the candidate for Mangere. I’ve had exceptional support,” she says.

National is struggling to shake its reputation as a boys’ club with only 16 of its 57 MPs being female.

Ms Hauiti sings the praises of the women in National’s caucus, calling them “champions”.

“They’re absolutely spectacular as individuals and collectively as a group. I think they add real mana and strength to the group.

“I hope I can live up to the expectations of those women and contribute to the caucus as a whole too,” she says.

“I would like to see more women across the political spectrum but it is up to the individual, that they step up and come forward and show their hand,” Ms Hauiti says.

When asked about her past affiliations with Labour, she said it was for research purposes rather than personal reasons.

“I am in my previous life, a television programme producer…and I signed up to a lot of groups, including Grassroots Labour and I also signed up to the Socialist Union.

“It’s part and parcel of good research. A good researcher is everywhere and if they want to get information, they will be everywhere.”

When asked if she was asked to be profiled by the Grassroots Labour website, she said “No, that’s what happens on internet sites…you can’t stop that kind of thing and I don’t think it’s a problem”.

A Young Labour spokesperson says they do not create profiles for anyone, it is individual users who make their own page and although possible, it is unlikely someone created a page for Ms Hauiti.

Click on the video tab to watch the full interview with Claudette Hauiti. 

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