Rino Tirikatene's political record of representing Maori in Christchurch is coming under attack from the woman he ousted from the Te Tai Tonga electorate last year.
Former Maori Party MP Rahui Katene says people affected by the earthquake are being ignored and constituents are still coming to her for help on issues such as roads, water and jobs.
She says that's a real problem because Labour Party MP Rino Tirikatene does not seem to be doing anything to help Maori he represents.
Ms Katene claims Mr Tirikatene is referring Maori constituents to the Pakeha MPs in Christchurch.
Rahui Katene is doing what she can to remain relevant and that involves stirring the pot. Rino has responded, quite rightly too, saying that many constituents have come to him citing the poor service Rahui gave last term. This, I think when examining the evidence, holds true. Rahui lost Christchurch despite having cultivated a significant profile in the wake of the earthquakes. If Rahui was doing a good job, then it follows that she would win more votes than Rino in Christchurch. This, however, was not the case and can only be read as an indictment against Rahui’s record in the city.
Rahui doesn’t have the coverage and connections Rino has across the electorate. Add to that the likelihood of Dora Langsbury and a Mana candidate standing and it becomes near impossible for Rahui to win – especially without the advantage of incumbency. Rahui can tend to her media profile, but that isn’t nearly enough to win a Maori electorate. Failure will be a deathblow against Rahui’s political career. You can’t, after all, lead the Maori Party without a seat in Parliament – it just isn’t practical.
I have done some work for Rino in the past.