Hana-Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke is running for Te Pāti Māori in the Hauraki Waikato electorate. Photo: Screenshot/Facebook

Te Pāti Māori Hauraki Waikato’s candidate says she isn’t scared or shaken by the attack on her home and privacy, but it has left her with a “yuck feeling”.

Speaking on Sunday morning on Marae, the 21-year-old said she felt like she’d had her privacy “ram raided”.

Maipi-Clarke said it started with a billboard being taken from her home and then there was also “vandalism – drills and hammers coming to vandalise my fence”.

“There were threats made via paper to my mailbox, I’ve had my house broken into twice, and I’ve also had photographs of people actually going into my rubbish bin to look at different details I have that I put in the rubbish,” she told Marae.

“For me, that just goes to show how disgusting this racism is in Aotearoa. It doesn’t scare me, it doesn’t rock me, but it is a very, very yuck feeling to know someone will go as low as going into my rubbish bin to have something against me.”

On two occasions she returned home to find her door open and damaged, and she’s made three separate reports to police.

“It’s because I’m young, I’m female, and I’m Māori, that’s what the threat said on the paper.” – Hana-Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke

In a statement on Friday, Te Pāti Māori said the incidents had all happened in the past week and, to the party’s knowledge, it is the first time a politician’s home and personal property “has been invaded to this extent”.

“This escalation of danger is what happens when right-wing politicians race bait and fearmonger for votes. They have emboldened this type of behaviour. Now it is time we embolden ourselves,” the party said.

Maipi-Clarke, who would be the youngest MP in 170 years if elected, said it was “whakamā” (shameful) even telling people what had happened.

“I don’t want people to know this, because it feels like even more violation of my privacy, but you have to call it out for what it is and keep these people accountable.

“They cannot do this, and they can’t do it to Māori women – and it’s not because I’m a politician or candidate or running for the Māori Party.

“It’s because I’m young, I’m female, and I’m Māori, that’s what the threat said on the paper.”

Maipi-Clarke said she felt “gaslighted” by other political leaders.

“It’s gaslighting by Winston Peters who said in recent interviews that it was lazy media then David Seymour saying, where’s the evidence?

“He’s completely gaslighted my situation and we have to justify when something wrong has happened to us,” she told Marae.

Seymour told Newsroom he’d never questioned the fact of what happened.

“I have strongly condemned any and all politically-motivated violence. Misrepresenting my position is the last thing that’s needed here,” he said.

“All politicians should be working together against political violence, instead of further politicising it.”

“It’s just not acceptable and it feels like it’s getting worse, we can’t accept that for the future of our country.” – Nanaia Mahuta

MP for Hauraki Waikato and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta was also on the show on Sunday morning and said this campaign felt different.

“It feels like there’s a higher level of toxicity and vitriol and sadly it is geared towards women, and Māori women in particular, and in Hana’s case – the youngest Māori woman we have standing as a candidate,” Mahuta said.

Since the Parliament protest last year Mahuta said there had been a “heightened embolden-ness around what people think they can challenge”.

“I’m happy to be accountable as a member of Parliament, as a minister for the policies we promote, but when people feel emboldened enough to come into your personal space, to be able to attack you both verbally and physically, which a colleague of mine, Angela Roberts has experienced, that’s not acceptable.

Part of the actions against Maipi-Clarke were about trying to “intimidate”, Mahuta said.

“We should never tolerate intimidation to the degree that people who are putting their hands up to serve and are elected to serve can be impacted in that kind of way.”

She said in addition to Maipi-Clarke, Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson and Green MP Golriz Ghahraman had experienced it, along with former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and herself.

“It’s just not acceptable and it feels like it’s getting worse, we can’t accept that for the future of our country.”

Maipi-Clarke’s experience was made public on the same day Labour MP, Angela Roberts, took to Facebook to say she had been shaken and slapped by a member of the public at an Inglewood election debate in Taranaki.

Jo Moir is Newsroom's political editor.

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