Annette Sykes

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Annette Te Imaima Sykes (born c.1961) is a Rotorua activist and lawyer who advocates for the rights of Māori tribes to be self-governing.[1] She was ranked third on the joint Internet Mana list for the 2014 New Zealand general election.[2]

Annette Sykes


Sykes is of Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāti Makino descent, two of the confederated tribes of Te Arawa waka,[3] along with some British descent.

She is a graduate of University of Auckland and has been practising as a lawyer since 1984. She has her own law firm Annette Sykes & Co. Ltd. [4] She is a human rights lawyer specialising in the rights of indigenous peoples to promote their own systems of law. She specialises in Waitangi Tribunal claims but has also practiced in criminal and family courts across New Zealand.[4]

Sykes is an advocate for Māori independence and a nuclear free, genetic engineering free independent Pacific. She was a Māori Party member[5] but became a prominent member of the Mana Party in 2011.[6] She was listed second on the Mana Party list for the 2011 election,[7] as well as standing unsuccessfully in the Waiariki electorate.[8] She contested Waiariki for the Mana Party again in 2014, and was third on the combined Internet MANA list, but was not elected.[9] She did not contest the 2017 election.

Sykes represented 17 people arrested in the 2007 New Zealand police raids, including high-profile activist Tame Iti.[10] Most of her clients were cleared of all charges, and an independent report found that many aspects of the raid were "unlawful, unjustified and unreasonable".[11]

Sykes has received death threats and bullets in her letterbox in retaliation for her work on Māori independence.[12] She has also been an outspoken supporter of controversial figures in Māori politics such as Titewhai Harawira.[13]


  1. ^ "A new power in the land". The Dominion Post. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Annette Sykes formally announced as Waiariki candidate". Mana Party. 12 May 2014. Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Annette Sykes". Māori Television. Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Annette Sykes biography".
  5. ^ Kay, Martin (31 October 2010). "Maori consider new hikoi on foreshore". The Sunday Star-Times. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  6. ^ Tahana, Yvonne (27 June 2011). "Mana Party to take policy plans on the road". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Party lists for the 2011 General Election | Elections New Zealand". 2011. Archived from the original on 10 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011. Annette
  8. ^ "Information for Voters in Waiariki | Elections New Zealand". 2011. Archived from the original on 16 October 2008. Retrieved 25 November 2011. Waiariki
  9. ^ "Official Count Results – Waiariki". Electoral Commission (New Zealand). 10 October 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Iti and Tuhoe to make Waitangi mark". 30 January 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Urewera raids: The lawyer who saved the innocent". NewsHubNZ. 15 October 2017.
  12. ^ Gregory, Angela; O'Sullivan, Fran (17 April 2002). "Stakes in treaty game high". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  13. ^ Ruth Berry (17 January 1999). "Waitangi activist at PM's side". The Sunday Star-Times.