Sept. 7, 2022, 3:40 p.m.
Nyz Manual, 2022 Māori Ward candidate, was born in Kaeo and raised in Whangaroa. Matangirau is her tūrangawaewae. She is the chairperson of Te Rūnanga Papa Atawhai O Te Taitokerau (Northland Conservation Board), chair of Kaeo Rugby Club, a trustee of Karangahape Marae and treasurer of Matangirau Kōhanga Reo.
She doesn't stop there, offering her time as a delegate on the board of Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa, the pou whenua for Rugby For Life in Whangaroa and logistics manager for Te Rawenga. You may have seen her face within the Taitokerau Border Control rōpū and leading the SNA's hīkoi. Rueben Taipari, whanaunga to Manuel, was a key driving force behind the border control kaupapa with Hone Harawira. Taipari spoke to Te Hiku Radio about their whakaaro;
"Our rōpū are all double vaccinated and are here to keep our whakapapa safe" explained Taipari.
Her passion is to find better solutions that reduce the impacts that tangata have on Papatūānuku.
When Tautīnei asked Manuel what attracted her to the Māori Ward candidacy, she responded;
"The fact that we have the ability to create change within the space of our whenua, maunga and awa drew me to Māori wards. We are at a tipping point in te ao Māori and our taiao needs us more than ever, if I can be a part of the solution at the table of Council, I need to be there. It’s evident that after 180+ years Māori, tangata whenua, are the true kaitiaki of our land we should have been at this table a very long time ago as stated in Te Tiriti."
Manuel is keen to tackle issues surrounding flooding, infrastructure, housing, rates, SNAs, the state of our waters, moana, ngahere, poverty, inequalities, pollution, biodiversity collapse and climate change.
"All of these issues go hand-in-hand and the way things are going right now you would be a fool to go into this space with only one or two matters," said Manuel.
Manuel's favourite thing about Te Taitokerau is growing up being Maori.
"Our pātaka is our ngahere and moana. We have the privilege of this taonga at our backdoor. My fondest memories growing up are diving for kai with my whānau. The majority of the time, it was only us and our whānau on the moana - but now we are faced with many people & find ourselves a lot of the time guarding and protecting our resources from being pillaged. We now use tools like rāhui to protect our moana and taonga species that are disappearing daily," said Manuel.
Manuel's passion lies in the taiao and you will no doubt see her within every space that matters when it comes to being kaitiaki for her people and her whenua.
"Our environment is us, we are it, if we continue to put money before our taiao, we will have no future. Papatūānuku me Ranginui have been exploited, raped and pillaged for far too long from mankind, this needs to stop. We are losing thousands of species a day that play a critical role to our taiao," said Manuel.
"Right now, we are staring down the barrel of no return if we do not only acknowledge but stop the actions of quantity over quality. Mana atua, mana tangata, mana whenua in this order we can survive. My passion is our taiao this encompasses everything. Ko au te taiao. Ko te taiao ko au," said Manuel.
Tautīnei asked Manuel if she had encouraging words for rangatahi with an interest in local government politics.
"I believe our rangatahi need to be here in order for us to develop strong leaders for āpōpō. The skill set of listening as taught to us on our marae may sound easy, but it’s actually harder than it sounds. The skill set of compromise grows you in a marae and hapū setting, the skill set to make decisions for the best of the collective is the ultimate skill you acquire over time. My encouragement to our rangatahi is to come sit and learn as it is our responsibility, therefore your responsibility, in time, to do what’s best for the future of our mokopuna," explained Manuel.
Manuel is standing as a Māori Ward candidate within the Local Body Elections, which means you should take some time to become familiar with voting processes and how to make your vote count.
Māori Electoral Roll enrolments are for those of Māori descent who would like to vote for a political party (the political parties are the same on both rolls) or a candidate in your Māori electorate (instead of your general electorate). This is relevant for Māori ward votes. If you choose the General Roll, you’ll vote for a candidate in a general electorate.
Voting in the local election is by postal vote, with voting documents sent out from Friday 16 September. Voting closes on Saturday 8 October, at midday.
If you’re eligible to vote it’s important you have your say in who represents you by enrolling and voting.