Maori Party's first Asian candidate targets diverse communities video

EMILY FORD/STUFF.CO.NZ

The Maori Party is happy to work with either Labour or National in the next government.

 The Maori Party's first Asian candidate wants to "make New Zealand great again".

Wetex Kang, of Chinese and Malay descent, invoked United States president Donald Trump's favourite catchphrase at the party's campaign launch at Manurewa Marae in Auckland on Saturday.

Kang is contesting the Botany seat in East Auckland, held by National's Jami-Lee Ross, and said he wants voters to consider a two-for-one deal and vote for him to bridge both parties.

Wetex Kang is the Maori Party's first Asian candidate. He's contesting the Botany electorate seat.
EMILY FORD / STUFF

Wetex Kang is the Maori Party's first Asian candidate. He's contesting the Botany electorate seat.

He also wants to introduce Maori wardens to East Auckland. 

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"A lot of voters in Botany will look at this as an example of a celebration of diversity and bringing all cultures together," Kang said.

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox gets her dance on at the party's campaign launch.
EMILY FORD/STUFF

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox gets her dance on at the party's campaign launch.

"If a Chinese person can stand for the Maori Party then Pakeha can and other Asians can stand. It's not about Maori or Chinese, it's about New Zealand being great again."

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell told the press conference that having Chinese and Pacific candidates in the party is a natural fit.

"We have come together in the same waka in the absolute belief that we can represent their interests," Flavell said.

The Maori Party's campaign was launched at Manurewa Marae on August 12.
EMILY FORD/STUFF

The Maori Party's campaign was launched at Manurewa Marae on August 12.

"Their voice has been marginalised and they have not had that space in parliament."

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The Maori Party's campaign launch was attended by a strong contingent of supporters, as well as the party's 20 candidates.

Co-leader Marama Fox said the party, whose campaign slogan is Make it Maori, Make it Happen, was willing to go into coalition with either National or Labour, despite their wariness of Labour's treatment of Pacific and Maori in the past.

With the upswing of the party's Pacific and Chinese whanau Fox is confident the party will get to seven per cent of the party vote at the election.

"We've never had more than four per cent of the party vote since our inception but we are growing, we feel the swing, and we know we can do it," she said.

Education, housing, water, and economy were among the party's key policy announcements, and it is pushing for its own Maori and Pacific housing minister.

Fox said the party wants a rent freeze on social housing accommodation, with pathways for home ownership, and low interest home loans.

A Maori and Pacific housing minister will ensure there's someone in government who understands the issues that affect Maori and Pacific people, she said.

 - Stuff

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