No illusions about challenge of elections, says candidate Manase Lua

    Six candidates from New Zealand’s Pacific communities will stand in general seats for the Maori Party in the national elections.

    They are standing in areas with strong Labour support and in some cases against sitting Labour MPs with Pacific backgrounds, including Jenny Salesa and Aupito Su’a William Sio.

    The candidates include Pakilau o Aotearoa Manase Lua, who is of Tongan descent and is  standing for Maungakiekie.

    Maungakiekie has a strong Pacific population, but also has a 24 percent Asian as well as European and Maori.

    “We are going to go hammer and tongs to do as best we can with this campaign and we are under no illusion that it’s a huge challenge and it’s a battle because we are fighting in Labour strongholds,” Lua told Radio New Zealand.

    “Our people are strongly loyal to Labour and that is all good but we will still put our policies out and if it appeals to people, it appeals to people.”

    Lua, who has worked in the public service at the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs and Ministry of Health Disability Services Directorate, said he encouraged people to vote in this year’s election.

    He said he was encouraging people, especially youth, to engage in this year’s election and vote.

    The other candidates are:

    Tuilagi Saipele Esera (Samoan heritage), Manukau East.

    Tofilau Esther Tevaga-Tofilau (Samoan heritage), Mangere.

    Karen Williams (Cook Islands heritage), New Lynn.

    Maryanne Marsters (Cook Islands heritage), Napier Electorate.

    John Kiria (Cook Islands heritage), Mt Roskill.

    Dr Joe Williams, Co-Leader of One Pacific, said the election offered a chance to strengthen links with Maori.

    Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan said the selection of candidates demonstrated the unity of Maori and Pacific people.

    Last month the Maori Party entered an agreement with One Pacific that allowed One Pacific to nominate up  to nine candidates to contest the election.

    The main points

    • Six candidates from New Zealand’s Pacific communities will stand in general seats for the Maori Party in the national elections.
    • They are standing in areas with strong Labour support and in some cases against sitting Labour MPs with Pacific backgrounds, including Jenny Salesa and Aupito Su’a William Sio.
    • The candidates include Pakilau o Aotearoa Manase Lua, who is of Tongan descent and is standing for Maungakiekie.

    For more information 

    One Pacific candidates announced for Maori Party 

    Maori Party officially announces six Pasifika candidates

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