NZ Election 2020: Marama Davidson, Peeni Henare and John Tamihere to face off in The Hui debate for Tāmaki Makaurau electorate

The Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland electorate promises to be one of the most fiery contests of the 2020 election.

Three big names have thrown their hats in the ring including Labour minister Peeni Henare, Green's Party co-leader Marama Davidson and Māori Party co-leader John Tamihere.

On Tuesday night, all three candidates will go head to head in a debate on The Hui - streaming live on -  to prove they are the best person for the job 

The Hui has covered a range of big issues in the Tāmaki Makarau electorate over the past three years including homelessness, poverty and treaty issues. The post-COVID period means whanau are feeling the strain of unemployment and the digital divide as learning and employment move online.

In August it was revealed 10 percent of Manurewa High School students did not return after lockdown - around 100 of those were senior students who had left school to find jobs and support their families in the economic struggle caused by the virus.

NZ Election 2020: Marama Davidson, Peeni Henare and John Tamihere to face off in The Hui debate for Tāmaki Makaurau electorate

Housing is also a critical issue in the electorate with the waitlists for state housing ballooning and constant complaints about the state of rental properties. 

Representing the voters of Tāmaki Makaurau will be a tough gig and voters will have plenty to think about as they head to the polling booths on October 17 - but The Hui will ask the hard questions, to ensure voters have the best information for when the time to vote comes. 

The Tāmaki Makaurau electorate is home to New Zealand's highest population of Māori in New Zealand, as well as the largest number of iwi with the 2013 census citing 30 different tribes.

John Tamihere, Marama Davidson and Peeni Henare.
John Tamihere, Marama Davidson and Peeni Henare. Photo credit: Newshub Nation/supplied

The electorate,formed in 2002, was initially held by Tamihere before Pita Sharples of the Māori Party took it from 2005 to 2014, when Pēni Henare won the seat. Henare has held it since then. Tamihere is back to contest the seat again, this time for the Māori Party.

Tamihere was most recently the runner up in the race for Auckland's Mayoralty - but he's also a long time campaigner for urban Māori. However his vote for the divisive Foreshore and Seabed legislation saw him lose his seat to Sharples in 2005. 

Up against him is Henare -  a strong contender with a high profile in Government as Minister for Youth, Civil Defence and Whanau Ora.

 During his term there has been a lift in minimum wage,stronger focus on mental health and a boost in state housing builds - but the Ihumātao dispute and the over-reach of Oranga Tamariki into the lives of whanau have left many Māori distrustful of the state - meaning Henare could have a battle on his hands.

Davidson is also back to contest the seat again, running a two-ticks campaign for the first time. Davidson is known as the activist turned politician and is one of the few politicians who still lives in a rental property. 

She is known for her presence at Ihumātao but more recently her party has been in the limelight for a poor decision to fund a private school in Taranaki, against the party's values. 

Watch The Hui live debate on on Tuesday, September 15 from 8pm