Te Ururoa walks and talks language, culture, education and whānau ora every day – from the corridors of Parliament to the home on his ancestral land at Ngongotaha in Rotorua that his wife Erana and he have made for their five children and two mokopuna.
Te Ururoa’s journey to Parliament was really a matter of doing as told by his people of Waiariki, who he has proudly and humbly represented since 2005. Like all Māori Party MPs, this son of Ngāti Rangiwewehi (Te Arawa) and Ngāpuhi never set out to become a politician. He'd be the first to admit the place which created so many laws that hurt his people, was the last space on earth he wanted to be. But while Parliament is seen by many Māori people as ‘te ana o te raiona – the den of the lion,’ Te Ururoa's people know that’s exactly where Māori need to be.
Te Ururoa’s first leadership role was one of modest beginnings as the bell ringer at Ngongotaha Primary School. After completing his secondary schooling at St Stephen’s in Auckland, he has worked in iwi radio at Taranaki, in schools as a teacher and principal, at a whare wānanga as the chief executive officer and as a consultant to various government agencies.
In 2013, Te Ururoa became the Māori Party co-leader and as a result, he’s also the Minister for Māori Development, Minister for Whānau Ora and Associate Minister for Economic Development.
For years he has promoted ‘revolution by education’ and prior to going to Parliament, he was heavily involved in teaching workshops on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, decolonisation and our country’s history.
He’s particularly passionate when it comes to educating Aotearoa about Māori language, history and our nation’s founding document, Tiriti o Waitangi.
Just some of his highlights since becoming an MP, and the Māori Party co-leader, include influencing more than $3.3 billion in funding for kaupapa Māori initiatives, gaining more recognition of te reo Māori in Parliament, influencing the development of scholarships to increase the number of Māori language teachers, getting the Government to recognise the role of Māori as kaitiaki of te reo Māori, proposing changes to better protect, manage and develop Māori land and getting the Government to recognise the importance of making the nation more aware of the New Zealand Land Wars – the aftermath of which continues to impact on Māori people today through intergenerational poverty and loss of identity.
Te Ururoa holds a Bachelor of Arts (Māori Studies and Anthropology) from the University of Auckland, a Master of Arts (Māori) from Waikato University and a tohu from Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo - Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language. He acknowledges the mātauranga and mentoring he has received over the years from tohunga and inspirational leaders like Dame Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples who trail blazed the independent Māori voice in Parliament.
Parliament Office – Wellington
Phone: 04 817 6824
Fax: 04 499 7269
Address: Bowen House, Parliament Buildings
Electorate Office – Rotorua
Phone: 07 350 3261
Fax: 07 350 3267
Address: 212 Old Taupo Road, Rotorua
Electorate Office – Whakatane
Phone: 07 307 0177
Fax: 07 307 0177
Address: 2 Victoria Street, Kopeopeo, Whakatāne