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July 17, 2017 | by  | in News |
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Māori Party Announces New Candidate

The Māori Party has announced Wetex Kang as their candidate for the Botany electorate in this year’s general election.

Kang, who is of Malay and Chinese descent, will be the first Asian candidate to be selected by the party. He migrated to New Zealand from Malaysia with his family when he was 17-years old, and completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours from the University of Otago. He also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and a Graduate Diploma in Science at Massey University.

He said that his candidacy symbolised “a historical moment where the tangata whenua of Aotearoa can formally express manaakitanga, aroha, hospitality, generosity, and mutual respect to all immigrants who’ve arrived in this beautiful land since the 1800s.”

Kang told Salient that while he had always been interested in politics, he had been reluctant to join a mainstream party. “Being a businessman, the National Party’s policies did appeal to me, but I didn’t want to just be carrying someone’s suitcase and water bottle for ten years before I even got announced as a candidate. Even if I was elected [as a National candidate] after that, I wouldn’t ever have a voice for immigrants and New Zealand as a whole. It would just get lost.”

Kang was Tame Iti’s nutritionist in the 2002. He recently reconnected with him, and the two began discussions about Kang standing for the Māori Party.

“I saw it as a chance for my voice to be heard on a lot of the issues that are dear to me — immigration, race relations, cultural integration, and law and order.”

Māori Party President Tukoroirangi Morgan said that Kang came from a land and people that had a shared whakapapa with Māori, which “should be celebrated.”

“We are really excited about welcoming our first ever Asian candidate into our whare.”

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