I've been an MP since the 1996 election, first for Te Tai Hauauru and then for Tainui, which became Hauraki-Waikato after boundary changes. I'm seeing a real energy around Labour among Māori. The talent pool that Labour is fielding in both in the Māori and general electorates is having an effect.
The mood on the ground is shifting. Labour has policies that appeal to communities, to families with kids, to young people who want to train and get good jobs and to people in the workforce who want to do a fair day’s work for a fair salary.
I get a strong feeling that more people are considering what Labour has to offer - but the challenge is to encourage everyone to get out and vote. We're giving people good reasons to vote but we have to get that message across.
Our strategy is decisive around the "two-tick" campaign. We have a new generation of Māori candidates who represent the changing face of Māori leadership. That leadership is bi-cultural, bilingual, forward-looking and thinking about ways in which the aspirations of Māori can benefit regional development and the country.
It was really exciting at Congress to see all our candidates together. We have strong candidates in Māori seats - Peeni Henare for Tamaki Makaurau, Rawiri Waititi for Waiariki, and Adrian Rurawhe for Te Tai Hauauru. Then, of course, we have Tamati Coffey in Rotorua and Willow Jean Prime in Northland.
The aspirations of young Māori really are being voiced within the Labour Party.
You can read more about our Māori candidates on their pages, click on the links below: