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Māori Party Selects Ngaire Button as Te Tai Tonga candidate

Māori Party Selects Ngaire Button as Te Tai Tonga candidate

23 May 2014

The Māori Party is proud to announce their fifth candidate to contest Election 2014 Ngaire Button (Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou).

“Ngaire brings an astute business mind with an impressive background in local body politics to the Māori Party agenda” said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Māori Party.

“What has blown us away is her experience over the last three years in particular as Deputy Mayor for Christchurch during times when the people were shattered by the traumatic impact of the 2011 earthquakes” said Mrs Turia. “Ngaire was a key member of the disaster recovery team and saw first hand the remarkable resilience, courage and collective will to keep close in horrendous circumstances. Those skills will be invaluable to our party in our ongoing commitment to Whānau Ora”,

“Ngaire was also associated with the “share an idea’ campaign, where 106,000 ideas came in to shape the rebuild of Christchurch” said Te Tai Tonga electorate chair, Piripi Waretini. “I’m sure a few of those ideas can come into the Māori Party manifesto!”

“Ngaire is driven by a strong social conscience and works hard to understand the needs of the wider community. She also has enormous energy; a quality needed to represent the largest electorate in the country with support from throughout the region, including among others, Ngāi Tahu and her Ngāti Porou and Tūhoe kaumātua.” said Mr Waretini.

Te Tai Tonga comprises all of the South Island, Stewart Island/Rakiura, the Chatham Islands, and extends into the North Island to include Wellington and parts of the Hutt Valley as far north as Avalon.

“I have had the special opportunity as an elected representative, to know how to bridge the gap between bureaucracy and the people” said Ngaire Button. “I am passionate about growing Māori leadership in every sphere of our community and I am looking forward to taking my energy for whānau, hapū and iwi development into parliament. I am at a great space in my life where I have the strength and the confidence to want to do whatever it takes, to represent the people of Te Tai Tonga with the commitment that they deserve”.

Ngaire Button (Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou) was Christchurch Deputy Mayor 2010-13; during which time she was also a Director of the Canterbury Development Corporation; VBase; and Civic Building Ltd. Prior to that she was a Director of Partnership Health PHO, a public health organisation focused on healthcare for all.

Ngaire is a mother of six children and has been married for 23 years. She has demonstrated a strong commitment to the community, from school board of trustees; to the Neighbourhood Trust, and church ministry.

Ngaire has been a small business owner for eighteen years; helping grow small business into multi million-dollar per annum turnover.

Ngaire reflects on her life as having been a phenomenal journey of discovery – from having raised her first two children as a very young single mum on the domestic purposes benefit; through to now navigating between government and non-government organisations to bridge the gap of communication that so often acts as a barrier. Her commitment to familiarise herself within her own whakapapa has given her a unique insight into the issues around cultural competency – a mainstay of Māori Party policy.

Ngaire had particular responsibilities in her role as a Councillor for social housing, long term planning, disaster recovery research and strategy development. She was also Chair of the Safer Christchurch Network.

“Ngaire is a person with firmly established principles which combine practicality with a caring social conscience. She will not sacrifice these principles for political advantage and is thus a highly reliable, honest and trustworthy person to work with”.


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