McKen­zie suc­ceeds Turia

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Maori Party ad­viser and for­mer Treaty ne­go­tia­tor Chris McKen­zie has been an­nounced as out­go­ing co-leader Tar­i­ana Turia’s re­place­ment in Te Tai Hauauru.

Turia is to re­tire from na­tional pol­i­tics at the next elec­tion, along with for­mer co-leader Pita Sharples.

The party an­nounced a short­list of six can­di­dates to con­test the Te Tau Hauauru seat ear­lier this month with for­mer Toko­roa High School teacher McKen­zie de­clared the win­ner.

Turia, who has held the western North Is­land seat since 2002, called McKen­zie a proven fighter for his iwi and said he would now be able to ap­ply that to the wider elec­torate.

‘‘He’s smart be­yond his years, gets both our young and old peo­ple, loves our peo­ple and re­ally wants to make a dif­fer­ence for them,’’ she said.

‘‘Chris knows how our peo­ple work, how the sys­tem works and with him at the helm, I have no wor­ries re­tir­ing be­cause I know our peo­ple will be in good and ca­pa­ble hands.’’

Maori Party pres­i­dent Naida Glav­ish said McKen­zie would work to grow on Turia’s achieve­ments in­clud­ing Whanau Ora, main­tain­ing the Maori seats, ad­dress­ing poverty and Maori train­ing ini­tia­tives, ‘‘just to name a few,’’ she said.

McKen­zie, whose iwi is Ngati Raukawa, is cur­rently a po­lit­i­cal strate­gist with the Maori Party and has a back­ground in man­age­ment, small busi­ness and iwi lead­er­ship.

He was the lead Treaty set­tle­ment ne­go­tia­tor for Ngati Raukawa, a self-em­ployed con­sul­tant, ed­u­ca­tion man­ager at Raukawa Trust Board and re­cently gained a mas­ters de­gree in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion.

A fa­ther of four, he and his wife Mal moved to Tawa from his home town of Toko­roa.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Po­lit­i­cal suc­cess: Chris McKen­zie and Tar­i­ana Turia.

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