Marama has been described as one of the most outspoken and unapologetic politicians since her karanga to Parliament in 2014 – the year she also became the Māori Party co-leader. The fact that she's a mother of 9, explains much of her passion for our country's most vulnerable people and the fire burning within her puku for whānau ora.
The daughter of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou, she was raised Christchurch and today lives in Masterton with her husband Ben and their tamariki who are all very involved in shearing – a way of life that has created a strong work ethic within her whānau.
Marama has been unwavering in her work of being a staunch voice in the corridors of power for Māori whānau – particularly women, children and youth – who successive governments have neglected.
As an experienced educational leader, who has taught in all Māori medium spaces, mainstream schools and even as an advisor in the Ministry of Education, Marama also brings kaupapa Māori-based solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing our country today.
Her advocacy and persistence has made the Government sit up and take note on a number of matters from homelessness to justice and the obligations of the kāwanatanga to Māori under the Tiriti o Waitangi.
Just some of her highlights in Parliament include securing $1.3 billion in funding for kaupapa Māori initiatives, undertaking an inquiry into homelessness alongside other parties, influencing the Government to invest more funding to urgently accommodate homeless families which resulted in a $300 million allocation being made; influencing the Government to shelve its plans that could have put every single Treaty settlement at risk; and influencing the Government to rethink another plan it had that risked creating another stolen generation of Māori children in state care.
In 2017, Marama will be asking the people of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti to send her back to Parliament, this time as their representative.
Parliament Office – Wellington
Phone: 0800 TU MAORI (0800 886 2674)
Address: Bowen House, Parliament Buildings