Feb 4, 2014

Why I am standing for Te Tai Hauāuru - Jack McDonald

Ko Taranaki te Maunga
Ko Taranaki te Tangata
Ko Taranaki te Iwi
Ko te puna i heke mai ai te tangata
E kore e pau te ika unahi nui

The threads of my whakapapa from across the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate weave together to bind my identity – my Māoritanga. A product of Te Tai Hauāuru, I am ready to stand up for our whānau and our whenua. I am ready to provide a new generation of political leadership.

I pay tribute to Whaea Tariana Turia, who has served our electorate with a power and distinction that is rarely seen in the political world. She has been our MP for 12 years, and has for that time been at the forefront of the fight for mana motuhake and has set a benchmark for Māori political representation in Parliament.

No one can replace Whaea Tariana's leadership, but her retirement offers Te Tai Hauāuru a rare opportunity; the opportunity to force a generational shift in our leadership and to chart a distinct course based on new ideas and a fresh outlook.

While attending the Rātana celebrations on the 24th of January I announced that I will be seeking the Green Party candidacy for Te Tai Hauāuru and standing for the Greens’ list.


As an uri of Taranaki Iwi and Te Āti Awa, many of my tupuna embarked on the heke that travelled from one end of the electorate to the other; from Taranaki maunga to the coastlines of Kāpiti and Mana. I have lived all my life in the small coastal town of Paekākāriki and I currently serve my community as the Chair of our Community Board and as our representative at the Kāpiti Coast council table.

Green representatives at Rātana Pā 2014
I stood in this electorate for the Greens in the 2011 general elections. It was the first time the Greens had stood a candidate in this electorate, so I had some very clear objectives in mind; spreading the Green kaupapa across the rohe and strengthening the position of the Greens in Māori communities. We were successful in our objectives; tripling the Greens party vote in Te Tai Hauāuru and securing third place in the electorate vote.

I have always believed that the Greens' values are remarkably similar to our values as Māori. And because a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a core part of our party's charter, the Greens are the strongest and most principled advocates in Parliament for honouring Te Tiriti and building a strong Treaty partnership.


It’s never been more important that we have strong Green representation in Te Tai Hauāuru. With both National and Labour supporting risky deep sea oil drilling off the Taranaki coast, it’s vital we send a message that we can’t risk destroying the environment which sustains our economy and our well-being. I stand in solidarity with hapū, iwi and community groups that are standing up to the drilling interests.

The extractive industries produce few jobs, while our two biggest industries, primary production and tourism, both rely on our clean, green brand. We also know that continued reliance on a fossil-fuel based economy will lead to increased carbon emissions and a more unstable climate.

There is an unique opportunity for iwi heading into the post-settlement era to be at the forefront of innovation and the transition to a sustainable economy. Greens propose a fairer Treaty settlement process, support for Māori small business and a massive investment in research and development and clean energy.

A strong Green Party will be able to hold both major parties to account. We have proven that we can make change from across Parliament, without compromising our values and our convictions. A party vote for the Greens will ensure there is a social and environmental conscience at the heart of a new progressive government.

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