Despite defeating two other nominees and being democratically elected by the Titikaveka Cook Islands Party (TCIP) in May 2017, she was never formally submitted as the candidate.
Following the four months after her TCIP election, Matenga was approached by the Tupapa Maraerenga CIP, who wanted her to run for them due to her family ties with the area. Ultimately though, she did not commit to running for that constituency.
Over the past week, it was rumoured Matenga would participate in a run-off for the candidacy she had already won. And that was when she put her foot down. “The run-off is not right. We already agreed that there would be no run-off. Our committee elected me fair and square, but because there was some implication that I would run for Tupapa, they felt I had gone,” Matenga said.
“I confirmed that I was not going, but they wouldn’t listen. I asked them to forget Tupapa, but they won’t, so I’m running as an independent.”
Matenga believes now is the time to do away with party politics, because they involve too much hurt and corruption for too many people.
“Enough is enough. I’m going to go forward with those that will support me. I’m pledging to you all, let’s get together and unify as one, and move forward for the benefit of our country.”
The TCIP committee have not commented on the situation.