Student runs for Te Tai Hauauru

16:00, Apr 03 2014

Jack Tautokai McDonald, 20, has put his studies on hold to pursue a career in politics.

McDonald has been named as the Green Party candidate for the Te Tai Hauauru electorate in the 2014 general election.

McDonald - Taranaki iwi Te Whakatohea, Te Ati Awa - lives in Paekakariki where he is chairman of the community board.

He stood for the Greens at the previous election at the age of 18 and increased the Greens' party vote in the electorate from 3.4 per cent to 10.9 per cent. And this election his goal is to increase it further, rather than win the electorate seat.

However, at 19 on the draft party list, if the Greens achieve their goal of 15 per cent of the national party vote McDonald would get into Parliament.

"So possibly there could be a second candidate for Te Tai Hauauru if they give their party vote to the Greens," he said.

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His main focus on the campaign trail would be on income and equality, unemployment and child poverty, he said.

"Those are huge issues for Maori communities and issues the Greens have been focusing on for many years."

Also, restoring the health of the waterways and honouring the Treaty of Waitangi, he said.

McDonald was studying political science and history, but is taking time off to focus on politics.

Taranaki Daily News