Ngāi Tahu celebrates whānau standing in local body elections

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is throwing its support behind Ngāi Tahu whānau members standing in local body elections and encouraging everyone to vote by 12 October.

Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai says the iwi knows of at least 15 Ngāi Tahu candidates in various election categories across New Zealand.

“It is fantastic to see dedicated and passionate Ngāi Tahu whānau members throwing their hats in the ring in these elections and inspiring future generations to do the same. Our people have so much to offer and it is critical that we are represented to ensure our voice is heard.”

“We have listed all our whānau members who are standing on our website and we are doing what we can to help them share their campaign information through our communication channels. While we don’t endorse one candidate over another, we want to make sure that the information is available to whānau looking to cast their vote.”

Ngāi Tahu whānau running throughout the country include:

  • Bayden Barber, the Hastings/Havelock North ward, Hastings
  • Jay Robert Coote, Councillor – Invercargill
  • Pania Coote JP, MSW, Dipswk, MANZASW, Southern District Health Board
  • Iaean Cranwell, Councillor – Environment Canterbury Christchurch North East – Ōrei Ward
  • James Daniels, Councillor – Coastal Ward, Christchurch
  • Carmen Houlahan, Mayor and Councillor – Dunedin City Council
  • Andrew Moreton, Invercargill Licensing Trust
  • Darlene Morgan, Mayor – Kaikōura District
  • Tina Nixon, Mayor and Councillor – Masterton District
  • Hinewai Ormsby, Councillor – Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Napier
  • Ben Parsons, Mayor – Thames-Coromandel District Council
  • Craig Pauling, Councillor, Environment Canterbury in Christchurch West-Ōpuna
  • David Shand, Capital and Coastal District Health Board
  • Kelly Tahiwi and Oakley Tahiwi-MacMillan, Councillors – Horowhenua District Council
  • Hinga Whiu, Kāwhia Community Board

“There are candidates running as far south as Waihōpai (Invercargill) and as far north as the Coromandel. We have whānau of all ages and backgrounds putting themselves forward, and this is something to be celebrated.

“We need greater representation at all levels of government, to ensure that Ngāi Tahu rights and interests are protected and advocated for, now more than ever with pressing issues like climate change, freshwater and regional development.”

Ms Tumahai stressed the importance of getting out and voting in the elections.

“No matter who you choose to vote for, it is just crucial that you do get out and vote. Our voice as Ngāi Tahu must be loud and proud, so be sure to make yours heard by getting your voting papers in before the deadline.”

Polling for the elections closes on Saturday, 12 October. More information on Ngāi Tahu candidates can be found here.