ELISA VORSTER

elisa.vorster@age.co.nz

Masterton’s Marama Fox is determined to get more votes than ACT leader David Seymour, but this time the showdown will take place on the dancefloor.

“My goal is to beat that boy,” Ms Fox said with a laugh.

The political rivals are just two of the confirmed contestants for the upcoming TV series ‘Dancing with the Stars’, which will see well-known New Zealand public figures face off in a bid to raise money for their nominated charities.

Ms Fox has already been to five rehearsals and knew her routine off by heart.

“I’ve just got to get my feet to do it,” she said.

Since the election, the former Maori party co-leader has been mainly based in Auckland while she works to secure new investors for her affordable housing project– a continuation of a Maori Party initiative which supports the government’s KiwiBuild scheme.

She was passionate about “building good quality houses all around the country” as well as increasing trade training to provide young people with skilled work.

“It’s not an easy fix and it’s not a quick fix, but the end result will be worth it.”

She decided to take part in ‘Dancing with the Stars’ to help her commit to a healthier lifestyle, even though she said it was “right out of my comfort zone”.

“I don’t do exercise, but dancing is something I enjoy.”

It also gave her a platform to promote and raise funds for a local Gisborne charity Ka Pai Kaiti, which helps with issues such as suicide prevention and stopping substance abuse.

Funds are raised by viewers text voting each week for their favourite contestant, with votes costing 99 cents.

“I’m really excited to raise money for this charity by getting votes but I need to remind all my cousins to top up their phones,” she said.

When asked if she and Mr Seymour would be having a political dance off, she immediately answered “oh, heck yes”.

“He is my friend and we are having a great time but I don’t want to get voted off before him,” she said.