Mar 07, 2018
"We need Māori Party basketballs!" MEET OUR NEW LEADERSHIP One of the first conference calls of many to take place between the new Māori Party leadership was interrupted with a marketing suggestion by a future voter. “We need Māori Party basketballs” was the recommendation from 10-year-old Te Kanawa, younger son of freshly elected President Che Wilson. You get a sense pretty quickly that the new leadership is about to bring new energy to the political landscape. In February at Rotorua, 41-year-old Che Wilson and 35-year-old Kaapua Smith were elected with great enthusiasm by a capacity crowd who had been attracted to the ‘new beginning’ that the Māori Party 2018 Hui-a-Tau was promoted as. Over a decade ago, the founding President of the Māori Party, Whatarangi Winiata, told the Māori Party AGM at Omahu Marae in Hastings that in the 1960s when he had visited Chicago Museum there was an exhibit of a perfect human specimen – the New Zealand Māori. It is tempting to speculate that these two young leaders represent that ideal in the staggering list of accomplishments they have already achieved. After acquiring a Bachelor of Arts – Honours – in international relations, politics and Māori, Che has shown a particular flair in the areas of environmental management and tribal leadership. He has been a member of the Tongariro-Taupō Conservancy Board; the National Māori Advisory Board for Geological Nuclear Science; a member of the Māori Heritage Council; Deputy Chief Executive for the Ministry for Environment and an Environment Court Commissioner. His formal scholarship also took place with the last two tohunga ahurewa of Whanganui in the traditional forms of ruruku (karakia tawhito), whakapapa, whaikōrero, waiata and mau rākau. Since the early 2000s Che has been a teacher within his iwi in these disciplines. His contribution to the cultural sector is significant as a composer, performer, author, curator (of the award winning photographic exhibition, Te Pihi Mata); a Māori Language interpreter and translator; and a member of the Harvard based Philanthropic Trust, Cultural Survival. More recently his focus has galvanised around the settlement process for one of his iwi, Ngati Rangi, at the foot of Koro Ruapehu. But while his leadership skills have been put to the test as Chief Negotiator, it is through the lens of whānau that his greatest challenges lie. Che is particularly proud of the project he has lead across his home towns - Waiouru, Raetihi and Ohakune for its capacity to grow the social and economic aspirations of the people. The Ruapehu Whānau Transformation project has crystallised for him the essence of Whānau Ora: that if you place faith in our families, change can happen. Che is on the Māori King’s Council of Twelve (Tekau ma Rua). This is a traditional council of tribal rangatira selected by iwi. Whether at the Maori Leaders Boot Camp in Stanford, or as a member of Māori business delegations to Hawai’i, China, Alaska, Bolivia, New Mexico or Cambridge, it would appear that this young man is both confident and comfortable in any setting. His aunty Tariana (Turia), once told Che the worst pitfall in politics was to start to believe your own press. Luckily for Che he has a whānau of critics and confidants who will remind him firmly of his place – as the youngest child of nine; a father of Te Kanawa and Hinerauhamoa; a husband to Riria (Missy) and a servant to his iwi. While Che and Missy were living in London at the time of the 2004 hikoi, Kaapua Smith (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Apa, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngati Awa) was a young solo mum. Her son Te Haanea was just two at the time. Next election will be his first to cast a vote, so she’s inspired by ensuring there is a strong kaupapa Maori option for him and his generation to vote for in the next election. Kaapua’s initial entry into politics was as a member of Pita Sharples campaign team in 2005. Later she would stand as a candidate for the Māori Party in 2011 (2nd on the list); in the midst of a five year period in which she served as private secretary, press secretary and advisor to Hon Dr Pita Sharples and Hon Tariana Turia. Like Che, Kaapua has been widely sought for her political commentary; she’s been a champion for the Maori electoral option, and most recently has been invited to be a guest speaker on Māori political participation in Chile while frequently invited to be a researcher, panellist, commentator and advisor on Māori Television (Native Affairs, Arero, Kowhiri 08). Kaapua is an established author, while also having served as a tutor, mentor and project manager for Māori and Indigenous Research. Scholarship runs in the blood – her parents are Professors Graham and Linda Smith; her koro Hirini Moko Mead. Since May 2017 Kaapua has been Head of Sustainability for Contact Energy; responsible for leading Contact’s sustainability, environment, property and community partnership teams. Tangata whenua engagement has been one of her focus areas, a key priority in building a culture of sustainability and awareness of tangata whenua issues within the organisation. This is the new look of the Māori Party. A graduate of Auckland University in Political Studies and Māori Studies, Kaapua is also a proud alumni of Hato Hohepa; St Josephs Māori Girls College in Napier. As an old girl of a Māori boarding school; a graduate of kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa Māori; Kaapua is part of the lucky generation – fluent in te reo Māori; comfortable in her own skin; a mokopuna who has benefitted from the legacy of those who fought to make her future secure. As a young mum, Kaapua now carries that passion and pride into her most important role – raising Te Haanea (15) and Niwa (9). Yes, she is a Generation Y politician, a freelance writer, a researcher, an advisor, happy on snapchat, a dedicated contributor on social media. But in her heart of hearts, the greatest call on her time is nurturing that spark of creative hunger in her two boys – one who has always dreamt of being an astronaut; the other modelling his lifeplan on Maui Supergod. Her goal is to help make that happen.
Oct 25, 2017
The Māori Party is praising New Zealand First for pushing for gains that will benefit thousands of tamariki and the country’s lowest paid workers, many of whom are Māori. “People will most probably be surprised to hear the Māori Party acknowledge NZ First for anything but we need to give credit where credit is due,” said Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan.
Oct 20, 2017
The Māori Party is congratulating the leaders of the Labour and NZ First parties for forming a new Government for Aotearoa. “Good on Winston Peters for treading carefully during his negotiations with both Labour and National, he has obviously done what his party wanted and what he felt was right,” said Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox. “Jacinda Ardern was the new leader brought in to revive her party in the eleventh hour and she did that in amazing style so we need to acknowledge her for that and for managing to pull-off negotiations with one of the country’s most seasoned political leaders who her party hasn’t always agreed with in the past,” said Ms Fox.
Sep 20, 2017
MEDIA STATEMENT 20 September, 2017 Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell Māori Party co-leaders Māori Party supports LGBQTI community Māori Party co-leaders Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell say they are fully supportive of the LGBQTI community after the party was accused of being anti-takatāpui. “We are a party based on a belief in whakapapa, whanaungatanga and manaakitanga and as such we will always support LGBQTI members of whānau,” says Ms Fox. “To be clear, the comment made in a press release by a party candidate that prompted the accusation of the party being anti-takatāpui is not the party’s position. It is the personal view of that candidate and a vote on such topics is, by convention, a conscience issue.
Sep 16, 2017
SPEECH BY SHANE TAURIMA Māngere Markets - 16 September 2017 Mōrena Māngere, mōrena Tāmaki Makaurau! One in every four Māori in Aotearoa live right here in Auckland. So it’s fitting that the Māori Party has a plan for this city, a plan for our whānau here. The Māori Party acknowledges the blood, sweat and tears our tupuna invested in the birth and growth of this city. We remember the taking of land from mana whenua and the giving of land from mana whenua for all peoples of Auckland.
Sep 15, 2017
Māori Party co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox are calling on Labour to come clean on who owns the country’s freshwater before they try taxing it. “Labour have claimed everybody owns the water, while the Waitangi Tribunal says Māori have rights akin to ownership,” says Mr Flavell.
Sep 12, 2017
MEDIA STATEMENTTe Ururoa FlavellMāori Party co-leaderMP for Waiariki Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says the admission from a Labour candidate that it would only tweak the Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill if it formed the next government shows their opposition to it has been nothing but hot air. “Labour have huffed and puffed in the House about how bad this bill supposedly is and vowed to scrap it if they become the government. Now they’ve changed their tune. Suddenly this bill is not so bad after all and just needs tinkering,” says Mr Flavell, MP for Waiariki.
Sep 12, 2017
Māori Party co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox say Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern is once again ignoring Māori in favour of political expediency by pushing for New Zealand to become a republic. “Here we are, less than two weeks out from a general election and without any consultation with the treaty partner, the Labour leader announces she wants to do away with the Queen,” says Mr Flavell.
Sep 12, 2017
The Electoral Commission has cleared Māori Party candidate Wetex Kang of a bribery allegation which the New Zealand Herald “beefed up” on its front page last week, says Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan. “Today’s decision by the commission confirms what I said last week – that Wetex is the victim of a smear campaign led by a troublemaker angry that he didn’t want her as his campaign manager. And a reporter at the Herald who let himself be fooled and manipulated by her,” said Mr Morgan.
Sep 12, 2017
Māori Party Tāmaki Makaurau candidate Shane Taurima says it is great that Labour has finally seen the light and recognises that thousands of whānau are achieving their goals and aspirations because of their determination to do better, but announcing a measly $5m of additional funding per year for Whānau Ora is an abysmal commitment by Labour. “Over the past three years, the Māori Party has secured $110 million more for Whānau Ora, bringing the total funding since 2010 to $450 million. The Māori Party has been able to secure support for 12,000 whānau a year and nearly 300 navigators across the motu, and the Māori Party are committed to at least doubling funding for Whānau Ora over the next three years,” says Mr Taurima. “It wasn’t too long ago that Labour was attacking Whānau Ora. It was only in October 2015 that Nanaia Mahuta said: ‘Whānau Ora isn’t working. It’s time for the Māori Party to admit that Whānau Ora isn’t anchored on solid foundations and has failed…..’ Now two years later, Labour is acknowledging that whānau are in a better place because of Whānau Ora and are prepared to commit more funding.”
Sep 11, 2017
Māori Party co-leaders Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell are lending their wholehearted support to the fantastic events happening around Aotearoa for Te Wiki o te reo Māori but are urging political parties to do more to help revitalisation efforts of the language.
Sep 08, 2017
Māori Party co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox say the signing of an agreement to pave the way for a pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is further evidence of its commitment to work tirelessly for Māori rights.