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Point of Order, Mr Speaker? - Modern Māori Political Leaders

What makes a good Māori leader in politics?

The recent changes in political leadership in New Zealand raises the question of Māori leadership. Eight Māori political leaders have responded in a new book Point of Order, Mr Speaker? - Modern Māori Political Leaders which will be launched next Tuesday 5th September in Wellington.

The book, edited by Professor Selwyn Katene and former Member of Parliament Rahui Katene, publishes the leadership experiences of eight former or current Māori political leaders in their own words.

The eight were selected for the book on the basis that they are political party leaders and/or play an important leadership role in their respective parties. The leaders are:

• Shane Jones, former Labour Government senior cabinet minister and recently confirmed New Zealand First candidate for Whangarei;

• Paula Bennett, Deputy Leader of the National Party, and Deputy Prime Minister;

• Te Ururoa Flavell, co-Leader of the Māori Party;

Metiria Turei, former co-Leader of the Green Party;

• Hekia Parata, National Party senior cabinet minister;

• Hone Harawira, Leader of the Mana Party;

• Nanaia Mahuta, Senior Māori Vice-President of the Labour Party and former Labour Government senior cabinet minister; and

• Tau Henare, former Deputy Leader of the New Zealand First Party and Leader of the Mauri Pacific Party.

The book offers a unique glimpse into the personal lives and very public persona of these eight leaders. 'Not only does their book foster greater public understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing Māori political leaders, it also gives us a glimpse of their commitment to whānau and community service away from the glare of cameras and reporters’, says Whatarangi Winiata, founding president of the Māori party.

‘What makes this book so different,’ editor Professor Katene says ‘is that it reflects the current strong senior Māori leadership capacity and capability in parliament across the main political parties in parliament — National, Labour, Greens, NZ First, Māori, Mana — and the rise and influence of Māori women in politics with four of the eight being women. They represent the latest wave of Māori political leaders into the 21st century focusing their efforts on Māori development and being effective advocates for Māori on all issues’.

The book launch will be held following a Māori Political Leaders forum in Soundings Theatre at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand at 4.00pm featuring Te Ururoa Flavell, Metiria Turei, Hone Harawira and Nanaia Mahuta, as part of the Conference on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The book launch will be held in the Icon Room at 5.00pm.


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