The Battle for Mana

Saturday 13 Nov 2010 2:28 p.m.

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By Natasha Smith
 
There is just one week until the Mana by-election.
 
Just north of Wellington, Mana is a microcosm of modern day multi ethnic New Zealand.
 
A candidate needs to represent the fourth highest population of Pacific Islanders, a substantial Maori population, the fourth wealthiest suburb in New Zealand and a large, mainly Pakeha, middle class and retired population in the north.
 
The pressure is on for first time candidate and former journalist Kris Fa’afoi; he has to defend a proud Labour history and the election in Mana is being hotly contested.
 
National candidate Hekia Parata has an impressive background in business and public policy and she has had three years to build her campaign.
 
First-time candidate Jan Logie is targeting the north of the electorate, in the Green party’s biggest electorate campaign in Mana.
 
Furthermore, long time trade unionist and activist Matt McCarten is using this by-election to push the left-wing causes he’s always stood for.
 
There are also indications that pockets of the Pacific community are looking to step outside of their traditional Labour vote.
 
Will this seat continue to be a Labour stronghold?
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