Minister of Māori Affairs
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The Minister of Māori Affairs is the minister of the New Zealand government with broad responsibility for government policy towards Māori, the first inhabitants of New Zealand. The current Minister of Māori Affairs is Dr Pita Sharples.
The role of the Minister of Māori Affairs differs somewhat from those of other ministers. While the Minister of Māori Affairs does have a government department to supervise (Te Puni Kōkiri, TPK for short, or the Ministry of Māori Development), he or she also has input into other portfolios to the extent that they affect Māori. For example, the Minister of Māori Affairs would expect to be involved in the development of Māori language policy in the education portfolio, even though education is normally the sole responsibility of the Minister of Education.
The office of Minister of Māori Affairs was originally called Minister of Native Affairs, or simply Native Minister. Most early Ministers of Native Affairs were not Māori, although a convention existed that there should be Māori in Cabinet (albeit without portfolio). Prior to the implementation of responsible government, Māori affairs (specifically the purchase of land from Māori by the Crown) had been handled by the Governor.
Attitudes of early Ministers were varied. The first Minister, William Richmond, considered Māori to be savages, and believed that his task was to "reform" Māori by making them more like Europeans. He was particularly hostile to Māori tradition of shared land ownership, considering it "beastly communism". Other Ministers were more friendly to Māori interests — James FitzGerald, the sixth Minister, believed that peaceful co-existence with Māori was vital, and considered the confiscation of Māori land to be an "enormous crime". Other Ministers have varied between these positions.
The first Minister of Native Affairs to be ethnically Māori was James Caroll, appointed by the Liberal Party in the late 19th century. Another prominent Minister of Native Affairs was Apirana Ngata, also of the Liberals. For the most part, however, early Ministers were Pākehā, although were frequently advised by Māori colleagues. Maui Pomare of the Reform Party and Eruera Tirikatene of the Labour Party were examples of politicians who played a major role in the portfolio without actually holding office. After Caroll and Ngata, it was not until Matiu Rata (1972–1975) that there was another ethnically Māori Minister of Māori Affairs.
In modern times, the tendency has been for the major parties to have Māori as their Māori Affairs spokespeople (and thus as Minister) when possible. The Labour Party has consistently had Māori in this role since the 1970s, while the National Party has had a mixture of Māori and Pākehā.
The current Minister of Māori Affairs is Pita Sharples, a member of the Maori Party. The National Party's spokesperson on Māori Affairs was Georgina Te Heuheu during the 49th New Zealand Parliament held in conjunction with the position of Associate Minister of Maori Affairs. Upon her resignation prior to the 50th New Zealand Parliament, the role fell to Christopher Finlayson. The Treaty Negotiations Minister while Former Maori Affairs Minister Tau Henare Chairs the Maori Select Committee in Parliament. The Labour Maori Affairs Spokesman is Nanaia Mahuta, while The Greens and New Zealand First have David Clendon and Winston Peters.
List of Ministers of Māori Affairs
The table below lists ministers who have held responsibility for Māori issues. Initially, the title used was Minister of Native Affairs, but the title was changed to Minister of Maori Affairs on 17 December 1947 and then to Minister of Māori Affairs with the insertion of the macron in modern orthography under the Māori Language Commission. The table indicates whether a minister was Māori (that is, predominantly of Māori descent, or with enough Māori heritage as to be seen as Māori).
|Took Office||Left Office||Party||PM
|1||William Richmond||27 August 1858||10 November 1860||None||Stafford|
|2||Frederick Weld||10 November 1860||12 July 1861||None||Stafford|
|3||Walter Mantell||12 July 1861||18 December 1861||None||Fox|
|4||Dillon Bell||6 August 1862||30 October 1863||None||Domett|
|5||William Fox||30 October 1863||24 November 1864||None||Whitaker|
|Walter Mantell, 2nd time||16 December 1864||27 July 1865||None||Weld|
|6||James FitzGerald||12 August 1865||16 October 1865||None||Weld|
|7||Andrew Russell||31 October 1865||24 August 1866||None||Stafford|
|8||James Crowe Richmond||August 1866||June 1869||None||Stafford|
|9||Donald McLean||28 June 1869||10 September 1872||None||Fox|
|Donald McLean, 2nd time||11 October 1872||7 December 1876||None||Waterhouse, Fox, Vogel
Pollen, Vogel, Atkinson
|10||Daniel Pollen||18 December 1876||13 October 1877||None||Atkinson|
|11||John Sheehan||15 October 1877||8 October 1879||None||Grey|
|12||John Bryce||8 October 1879||21 January 1881||None||Hall|
|13||William Rolleston||4 February 1881||19 October 1881||None||Hall|
|John Bryce, 2nd time||19 October 1881||16 August 1884||None||Hall, Whitaker, Atkinson|
|14||John Ballance||16 August 1884||28 August 1884||None||Stout|
|John Ballance, 2nd time||3 September 1884||8 October 1887||None||Stout|
|15||Edwin Mitchelson||11 October 1887||24 January 1891||None||Atkinson|
|John Ballance, 3rd time||24 January 1891||4 February 1891||Liberal||(himself)|
|16||Alfred Cadman||4 February 1891||29 June 1893||Liberal||Ballance, Seddon|
|17||Richard Seddon||6 September 1893||21 December 1899||Liberal||(himself)|
|18||James Carroll||Yes||21 December 1899||28 March 1912||Liberal||Seddon, Hall-Jones, Ward|
|19||William MacDonald||28 March 1912||10 July 1912||Liberal||Mackenzie|
|20||William Herries||10 July 1912||7 February 1921||Reform||Massey|
|21||Gordon Coates||9 March 1921||10 December 1928||Reform||Massey, Bell, (himself)|
|22||Apirana Ngata||Yes||10 December 1928||1 November 1934||United (Liberal)||Ward, Forbes|
|23||George Forbes||1 November 1934||6 December 1935||United (Liberal)||(himself)|
|24||Michael Joseph Savage||6 December 1935||27 March 1940||Labour||(himself)|
|25||Frank Langstone||1 April 1940||21 December 1942||Labour||Fraser|
|26||Rex Mason||7 July 1943||19 December 1946||Labour||Fraser|
|27||Peter Fraser||19 December 1946||13 December 1949||Labour||(himself)|
|28||Ernest Corbett||13 December 1949||26 September 1957||National||Holland, Holyoake|
|29||Keith Holyoake||26 September 1957||12 December 1957||National||(himself)|
|30||Walter Nash||12 December 1957||12 December 1960||Labour||(himself)|
|31||Ralph Hanan||12 December 1960||24 July 1969||National||Holyoake|
|32||Duncan MacIntyre||22 December 1969||8 December 1972||National||Holyoake, Marshall|
|33||Matiu Rata||Yes||8 December 1972||12 December 1975||Labour||Kirk, Rowling|
|Duncan MacIntyre, 2nd time||12 December 1975||13 December 1978||National||Muldoon|
|34||Ben Couch||Yes||13 December 1978||26 July 1984||National||Muldoon|
|35||Koro Wētere||Yes||26 July 1984||2 November 1990||Labour||Lange, Palmer, Moore|
|39||Tau Henare||Yes||16 December 1996||1998||NZ First||Bolger, Shipley|
|Tau Henare, continued||Yes||1998||1998||Independent||Shipley|
|Tau Henare, continued||Yes||1998||10 December 1999||Mauri Pacific||Shipley|
|40||Dover Samuels||Yes||10 December 1999||28 June 2000||Labour||Clark|
|41||Parekura Horomia||Yes||26 July 2000||19 December 2008||Labour||Clark|
|42||Pita Sharples||Yes||19 December 2008||Incumbent||Māori||Key|
- "MPs with Maori Affairs portfolio". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "MPs on the Maori Affairs Select Committee". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- 1966 Encyclopedia of New Zealand - RICHMOND, James Crowe, Te Ara
- Te Puni Kokiri
- Minister of Māori Affairs at beehive.govt.nz
- Minister for Whānau Ora at beehive.govt.nz