Georgina te Heuheu

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The Honourable
Georgina te Heuheu
Minister for Courts
In office
19 November 2008 – 12 December 2011
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Rick Barker
Succeeded by Chester Borrows
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
In office
19 November 2008 – 12 December 2011
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Winnie Laban
Succeeded by Hekia Parata
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party List
In office
Personal details
Born 1943
Nationality New Zealand
Political party National Party
Occupation Lawyer

Georgina Manunui te Heuheu QSO (born 1943) is a New Zealand Māori politician. She was a Member of Parliament (MP) from the New Zealand National Party List, and a Cabinet Minister in the New Zealand Government.

Early life[edit]

Born Georgina Manunui in 1943, she is the daughter of George Manunui of Waitahanui. She is a member of the Ngāti Tuwharetoa tribe of the central North Island and is also related to Te Arawa and Tuhoe tribes. She was born and raised at Taurewa, near Mount Tongariro, and received her secondary schooling at Turakina Maori Girls' College (1956–59) and Auckland Girls' Grammar School (1960–61). She graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BA in English and an LLB, being the first Māori woman to gain a law degree and be admitted to the High Court as barrister and solicitor.[1]

Professional life[edit]

Before being elected to Parliament, te Heuheu practised law in Wellington and Rotorua. She was a member of the Waitangi Tribunal (1986–96).[2]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
1996–1999 45th List 7 National
1999–2002 46th List 6 National
2002–2005 47th List 6 National
2005–2008 48th List 19 National
2008–2011 49th List 17 National

Georgina te Heuheu was first elected to Parliament in 1996.[3]

She was the Minister for Courts and for Women's Affairs (1998–1999) during the Fourth National Party Government.[4]

Speculation about her future arose in 2004 after she criticised a speech by leader Don Brash. Questioned some weeks later, she refused to rule out the possibility that she might switch allegiance to the new Māori Party, which had formed after the resignation of Tariana Turia.

However she remained with National for the 2005 election and served as a backbencher for the party, serving as a Spokeswoman for Broadcasting, Associate Spokeswoman for Defence, Treaty of Waitangi Issues and Maori Affairs (Maori Development).

From 19 November 2008 until the 2011 election she was the Minister for Courts, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, and Associate Minister of Maori Affairs in the National Party Government led by John Key. Te Heuheu announced she would retire at the 2011 election.[5]

Life After Parliament[edit]

Te Heuheu was appointed Chairwoman of Maori Television in 2012 and now also sits on several Maori Trust Boards and Charity Committees including the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board.[6] In her capacity as Chairwoman she has been leading a review of Maori Television services and its operational structure to see whether better outcomes can be achieved for the Station.[7]

Private life[edit]

She married Timoti ("Timi") te Heuheu, brother of Sir Tumu te Heuheu, a Ngāti Tuwharetoa leader and son of Sir Hepi Te Heuheu. He died in 2012.[8] They have two adult sons.[4]

She was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for public services in the 1993 Queen's Birthday Honours.[9]


  1. ^ "Hon Georgina te Heuheu QSO". New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 21 May 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "Hon Georgina te Heuheu QSO - Biography". National Party. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Women in parliament 1933 - 2005". Elections New Zealand. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Hon Georgina te Heuheu". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Georgina te Heuheu to retire". 10 May 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "No. 53334". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 1993. p. 38. 

External links[edit]