Boxer David Tua outlines his political ambition
Professional heavyweight boxer David Tua hopes to step out of the ring and into the Beehive.
Tua told Fairfax Media this afternoon he has been approached by fans to enter the political arena to represent the Pasifika community - and he's agreed.
"They've approached me and I said, 'Look, it's a big call but it's a simple call because I will only be a voice for you'. I will only stand and run for the things that inspire them," he said.
The 40-year-old said it was important that Pasifika people in New Zealand had a voice.
"At the end of the day, it's really about having a voice for those who don't have a voice. I'm thinking about Pacific Nations and those who've had the courage to come to this country. We're strong in numbers and if we stood together, we will survive."
Tua said the courage people had in him to stand up for their needs was "humbling" and "exciting", but stressed he would not be pushing his own agenda.
"It's about the people and it will always be about the people, it's very simple. I will run because of them. I will run according to their needs, not mine. At the end of the day I will only be as good as those who surround me."
He also hoped that as a long-standing role-model, he would be able to positively influence Pasifika youth.
"It's about the future generations. It's about inspiring, I love that word ... if I can inspire them to vote and if I can inspire them to be more accountable for anything and everything they put their minds, hearts and souls into then the rest will take care of itself."
Although Tua hasn't set himself a deadline for when he will launch his political party, he said his biggest focus at the moment was his November 16 bout against 36-year-old Belarusian, Alexander Ustinov.
"I have the appointment on November 16 to deal with first, once that's done I will seriously look into it, timing is everything," he said.
And he believes the time is right for asifika people to have their own political party because he has that support behind him, unlike previous attempts to do the same.
"I've been talking to some very good friends of mine that have been involved with politics for years just to see how they feel about it," he said.
Tua is not the first to try a party appealing to the Pasifika, and mainly south Auckland vote.
In 1999, Tau Henare launched the short-lived Mauri Pacific political party, which collapsed after it failed to win seats.
Disgraced MP Taito Phillip Field formed the Pacific Party in 2008 after leaving Labour to became and independent MP. He failed to win support in the election with corruption charges hanging over his head.
Tua is also not the first Pasifika sports star to attempt to enter the political arena either, with former All Blacks Michael Jones and Va'aiga Tuigamala both putting themselves forward to stand for the National Party in 2011 and 2009. Neither were successful.