Six Pacific candidates have been selected from the One Pacific campaign running for the Maori Party.
Four of the candidates will contest the South Auckland electorate seats currently held by the Labour Party.
Tuilagi Saipele Esera will stand in Manukau East, John Kiria for Mount Roskill, Pakilau o Aotearoa Manase Lua for Maungakiekie, Tofilau Esther Tofilau-Tevaga for Mangere and Karen Williams for New Lynn and Maryanne Marsters for Napier.
Maori Party President Tukoroirangi Morgan announced the candidates at a campaign launch last night in Mangere's Malaeola Community Centre in Auckland.
One Pacific's campaign launch. Photo/ PRN.
Tongan Manase Lua who will contest the Maungakiekie seat, currently held by National MP Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, says it's time Pacific people broke away from stronger parties and drove their own agendas.
"We're not worried about what Labour does or what National does, we're just focused on what we're doing," he says. "Pushing the agenda of Pacific and Maori and the only way you can do that is if you're not held by the big parties."
Pakilau o Aotearoa Manase Lua will be standing for the Maungakiekie electorate. Photo/ PRN.
Lua is confident with their partnership with the Maori Party and says it gives Pacific people an opportunity to be masters of their own destiny.
"That's why we're pushing our own bus and not being driven by another bus," he says. "It's what Maori call 'mana motuhake'."
John Kiria and Tofilau Esther Tofilau-Tevaga both know they have a tough challenge ahead, standing in strong Labour territory.
Kiria has a background in youth work and is entering the political arena for the first time.
He says he's excited and ready to give it a go.
"I'm looking forward to it. It's about time the teina tuakana come together as one," he says. "You never know what the outcome will be unless you enter the race."
John Kiria, on the Cook Island drums, will be standing for the Mt Roskill electorate. Photo/ PRN.
The Cook Islander says he'll be a big advocate for whanau and family matters.
Tofilau-Tevaga, of Samoan descent, will contest the seat of Mangere, currently held by Labour MP Aupito Sua William Sio.
She says the partnership between One Pacific and the Maori Party is historical and says the timing for this movement is right.
"The landscape of this country has changed dramatically," she says. "It's great that we've come together to stand as one and to ensure that our people aren't left behind."
Tofilau Esther Tofilau-Tevaga will be standing for the Mangere electorate. Photo/ PRN.
Karen Williams, 23, who will be standing for the New Lynn electorate currently held by Labour, is the youngest Pacific candidate.
Lua, Kiripa and Tofilau-Tevaga says youth engagement is going to be a big focus for them.
One Pacific Co-Leader Dr. Joe Williams says in order to make a difference, Pacific people must get out and vote.
"We need to mobilise our people and all our whanau over the age of 18 to register for this general election."
One Pacific Co-Leader Dr. Joe Williams. Photo/ PRN.