Self confessed current affairs and communications "junkie" Mei Reedy-Taare is standing in this years’ national election for the Māori Party contesting the Te Tai Tonga seat. A former broadcaster, journalist and communications professional, Mei brings a wealth of experience and a fresh new perspective to the Māori Party. Mei and her husband of 30+ years Beau, returned to New Zealand in the mid 1990s after spending 10 years working in Washington DC.
We are excited, said Māori Party President Tuku Morgan, to have someone of Mei’s calibre, energy, competence, professionalism and passion to win Te Tai Tonga.
Mei is no stranger to politics. She is currently a serving board member for her Ngāti Porou iwi, which she claims, is arguably one of the hardest jobs there is. Despite this, she is a passionate advocate for her Ngāti Porou iwi both at a local and national level. Mei is a fervent champion for Māori. She believes that Māori do not receive equity and equality in all areas of our lives. After all, Mei says this is, and has always been our right. Mei understands that as long as we are not at the seat of government Māori will remain second class citizens relegated to the back of the bus.
Mei also brings with her a proud heritage. The daughter of highly respected educationalists Sir Tamati and Lady Tilly Reedy who themselves have been tireless advocates for Māori throughout their careers. Mei says it is her parents who are the backbone of who she is today. It is they that have set in place the whariki on which she stands. Mei is proud to continue the work that her parents have dedicated their lives to.
It doesn’t end there, Mei has firmly staked her right to represent Te Tai Tonga as a mokopuna of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Porou through their common, great tipuna, the mother of both Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Porou – Hamo te Rangi. Mei also sites her whakapapa to Tainui waka, Kahungunu and through her nannies whakapapa to Ngāi Tahu. In fact Mei sees whakapapa as the special DNA that ties all Māori together.
Mei predicts this election year to be the end of the Labour party's dominance of the Māori vote saying that Māori must vote smart by giving the Māori Party both their candidate and party vote. This is a strategic move and Māori must understand that this is the only way to move Māori from the back to the front of the bus.
Our goal, Mei says is to win all the seats and to win at least 7% of the party vote. My job is to win Te Tai Tonga. We must make our voters burn with the desire to be the game changer, the king maker, in the next government. We must help them to understand that a seat at the Big Board Table is where Māori must be and only they our voters can put me – us – there.
Mei holds a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences, Psychology and English. She has a Diploma in Journalism, holds a PRINCE2 qualification in project management and she is a member of the Golden Key National Honour Society, an international alumni that recognises scholastic excellence.