Kelvin Davis defends Labour Māori MPs' decision not to stand on list

  • 26/03/2017

This week, Labour's Māori electorate MPs announced they will not put their names forward for the Labour Party list in the upcoming election.

Kelvin Davis, Nanaia Mahuta, Rino Tirikatene, Peeni Henare, Adrian Rurawhe  and Meka Whaitiri will rely solely on electorate votes to get back into Parliament.

It's being described as the political version of "ka mate, ka mate, ka ora, ka ora" - "I may die, I may live". 

In an interview with The Hui, Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis described the strategy as providing "more choice to Maori".

"It's the greatest thing for Māori since Kupe spotted land."

It's a bold move that's been welcomed in some quarters and criticised in others.

Mr Davis told Mihingarangi Forbes he believes the strategy will bring "three of four new Māori MPs into Parliament".

In 2014 Davis won the Te Tai Tokerau electorate from Mana leader Hone Harawira by just 743 votes.