Te Tai Hauāuru is a Māori electorate covering western parts of the central North Island, stretching from Wellington to Hamilton (but not covering either).
The seat has been held since 2002 by Tariana Turia, who was first a Labour MP but then left the party and co-founded the Māori Party.
Turia left Labour in 2004, resigning from her seat and winning re-election as a Māori Party candidate. Turia has served as co-leader of the Māori Party ever since, but is retiring at the 2014 election.
Turia won huge majorities in 2005 and 2008, and held on reasonably comfortably with an 18.5% margin in 2011. Despite this large margin, Māori electorates have a history of producing volatile election results, and in the absence of Turia’s personal vote the Māori Party are facing a serious challenge in the seat.
A recent poll of the electorate showed the Māori Party candidate leading over his Labour rival by only 3%, which suggests the seat will come down to the wire.
The Māori Party is polling at a level where they are unlikely to win any list seats, so the loss of Te Tai Hauāuru, along with the possible of one other seat, could see the party reduced to only one MP, down from five elected in 2008.