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Shane Taurima joins race for Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election

Published: 4:18PM Monday May 20, 2013 Source: ONE News

Shane Taurima has joined the race for the Labour Party candidacy for the upcoming Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election.

The General Manager of TVNZ's Maori and Pacific Programmes announced his decision to stand in Parekura Horomia's old electorate this afternoon, but he faces two challengers for the party nomination.

Taurima is now on leave from TVNZ until the by-election is completed.

He said Horomia, who died last month after battling a number of health issues, had spoken to him in the past about entering politics.

"The late Parekura Horomia spoke to a number of people about entering into politics," said Taurima.

"He first spoke to me in 2007 about the 2008 election, and then again in 2011.

"Given my career choice and the absolute need to be impartial, apolitical and professional I would politely decline his approaches and he respected me for that. It wasn't my time back then. I wasn't ready. But I am ready now."

Taurima will first need to secure the party's support against Hayden Hape, a board member of Ngati Kahungunu, who also announced his intentions today.

"I believe politics isn't just about representation for Maori," he said.

"It's also about being able to show the people that you are a reflection of who they are and where they are from. That you share their hopes and aspirations for a healthier, more vibrant whanau, for better paying jobs, and for the best start in life for everyone.

The CEO for Ngati Kahungunu, Meka Whatiri, also announced last week that she intended to stand for Labour in the by-election.

"I cannot be Parekura, but I can promise that I will bring all of my skills, work-ethic and passion to serve the people of Ikaroa-Rawhiti," she said.

"There will be many high-caliber candidates seeking selection for the Labour Party nomination and I wish each prospective candidate, and their whanau, all the best."

The Maori Party has announced union man Na Raihania will be its candidate in the by-election. He ran against Horomia in 2011, and took 23% of the vote.

Raihania says big issues such as jobs, education and health with be important in his campaign, as well as some smaller local problems.

The Mana Party will also be putting forward a candidate for the seat and is expected to announce its nomination this week.

The by-election has been set for June 29.

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