Last week, we announced our list of candidates for this year’s general election. It’s a list full of talent and diversity; an exciting mix of experience and fresh faces.
It’s also a list that will mean we will have better Māori representation than ever before. We’ll likely have at least one in four Māori Labour MPs in our Caucus. That is unprecedented – it would be the largest team of Māori MPs of any political party in our history.
That sounds awesome! But hang on – I noticed the current Māori electorate MPs aren’t on the list?
That’s correct – a few weeks ago, our Māori electorate MPs requested to be taken off the list.
They did this because they’re confident – and so are we – that they’ll win their seats back. They’ve all done outstanding jobs in their electorates, and they’ll continue to do that.
So, by going off the list and retaining their seats, we’ll be able to bring in many more new, fresh Māori faces off the list, and Māori will be much better served with a strong Māori voice in Government.
You can see our Māori electorate MPs explain that decision here.
But if they’re not on the list, how do we know where they’re ranked?
Our Māori electorate MPs have proved that they’re effective – they’ve been working really hard these past three years. That’s why five of them are in Labour’s Shadow Cabinet.
New Māori talent will come into Caucus, join the current team of highly ranked MPs, and there’ll be a strong Māori presence in Cabinet.
Labour has a record of delivering for Māori in Government. We’re the party that addresses Māori issues.
So let me get this straight – our current Māori electorate MPs will retain their seats and we’ll also get a bunch of new Māori MPs?
Exactly! It’s a win-win.
This is great! So how do we make that happen?
Well, this is the really important bit. To get better representation and keep our current Māori electorate MPs, who have proven track records, we need Māori voters to give both their ticks to Labour.
When they vote for their local Labour MP, they’ll ensure that she or he gets back into Parliament, and can continue being an effective voice for their area and for all Māori.
And when they tick the ‘Labour Party’ box, they’ll ensure that we bring in more Māori MPs, and have really strong Māori representation in our Caucus and in Government. It’ll mean we’ll be able to make progress on the problems that many Māori are facing in housing, health and education.
I want to make sure that happens - can I help make sure we get even better Māori representation?
Yes, of course!
One little thing that everyone can do easily is to have conversations with other voters and let them know why two ticks for Labour is so important – you could even share this post with them.
And if you want to get more involved in your area, you can sign up as a volunteer here: labour.org.nz/volunteer.
Every little bit counts, and you can contribute as much or as little time as you like.