Howie knows how to play hard.
The father of seven and koro of five has already shed blood, sweat and tears for our country as a captain for the Kiwis, thrashing our rivals with his speed, skill and smarts in 50 games and 24 tests.
He’s already played hard in his 15 years as a district councillor in New Plymouth, going to battle for Māori on issues of justice, right through to everyday kaupapa like getting better services to small towns who many decision-makers had forgotten about.
The son of Ngāti Mutunga, Te Atiawa and Ngai Tahu is currently the president at New Zealand Rugby League and the chief executive officer at Sport Taranaki. And while he isn’t putting on league boots every week, he continues to shape and strengthen sports and recreations across the Taranaki region – work spanning more than 20 years which Sport NZ
has given him a lifetime award for.
Off the field, but still in a battle ground, Howie is staunch when it comes to Māori rights. He has advocated, along with the renowned former New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd, for guaranteed Māori seats on local councils, which also saw him take that karanga to the United Nations when the mainly white and ignorant elements of the Taranaki council voted it down.
He has been an unwavering voice for Māori in Waitara, fi ghting a proposed law which adds even more salt to old wounds of Māori there whose lands were “stolen”by the Crown during and after the New Zealand Land Wars.
Howie also knows about iwi development, being heavily involved in the aff airs of the people at Parihaka, Mounga Taranaki, Pekapeka and Port Nicholson Block Post Settlement Trust, which he is a trustee on.
Howie also has a passion for helping Māori in prison turn their lives around and has been part of an initiative to run kaupapa Māori programmes in prisons.
His whānau is hugely involved in intergenerational te reo Māori and tikanga revitalisation, creating native speakers at home.
Howie and his wife Aroaro strive to create a legacy for their whānau that’s founded in a deep desire for them to know who they are and to honour their tūpuna.
Howie is a respected Taranaki Māori leader. His leadership and standing was recognised when he was nominated to represent Taranaki as pallbearer at the tangihanga of the late Māori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu.
Now it is time to send Howie to Parliament, so he can battle it out for all peoples in Te Tai Hauāuru.