Nanaia Mahuta

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The Honourable
Nanaia Mahuta
Nanaia Mahuta.jpg
Minister for Local Government
In office
Prime Minister Helen Clark
Preceded by Chris Carter
Succeeded by Rodney Hide
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Te Tai Hauāuru
In office
Preceded by Tukuroirangi Morgan
Succeeded by Tariana Turia
Majority 6,233[1]
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Tainui
In office
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Majority 3,430[1]
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Hauraki-Waikato
Assumed office
Preceded by New constituency
Majority 1,046[2]
Personal details
Political party Labour

Nanaia Cybelle Mahuta[3] (born 21 August 1970) is a New Zealand politician who was a cabinet minister in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand. She was Minister of Customs, Minister of Local Government, Minister of Youth Development, Associate Minister for the Environment and Associate Minister of Tourism.[4] She has strong links to the Māori King Movement, being the daughter of Sir Robert Mahuta, who was the adopted son of King Korokī and the elder brother of Māori Queen Te Atairangikaahu. She has an MA (Hons) in social anthropology.[5] In 2016 she acquired a Māori facial tattoo and became the first female MP to wear one in the New Zealand parliament.[6]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
1996–1999 45th List 8 Labour
1999–2002 46th Te Tai Hauāuru 10 Labour
2002–2005 47th Tainui 19 Labour
2005–2008 48th Tainui none Labour
2008–2011 49th Hauraki-Waikato 10 Labour
2011–2014 50th Hauraki-Waikato 12 Labour
2014–present 51st Hauraki-Waikato 6 Labour

Mahuta was first elected to Parliament in the 1996 elections, when she became a list MP. In the 1999 elections, she won the Te Tai Hauauru electorate, and in the 2002 elections, she won Tainui. Before the 2008 general election the electorate boundaries were changed and it was renamed Hauraki-Waikato. She held the seat with a majority of 888.[2]

Foreshore and seabed controversy[edit]

In 2004, she joined Tariana Turia, another Labour MP, in voting against the first reading of her party's legislation on the controversial foreshore and seabed issue. She did not, however, join Turia when she quit Labour to found the Māori Party. In the bill's second reading, she again voted against her party, but in the third reading, she changed her position and supported it, saying that while it had "serious flaws, ... at the end of the day, it was the right thing to do".[citation needed]

Cabinet minister[edit]

In the 2005 general election Mahuta held her electorate seat of Tainui. Subsequently, Mahuta as part of the Labour-Progressive coalition government, was Minister of Customs, Youth Development and Associate Environment and Local Government. Mahuta lost her portfolios when Labour were defeated in the 2008 general election.[citation needed]

In opposition[edit]

Following the defeat of the Labour government in the 2008 election, Phil Goff appointed Mahuta as spokesperson for Maori Social Development.[7]

In 2009 Mahuta's Resource Management (Enhancement of Iwi Management Plans) Amendment Bill, which proposed giving more weight to Māori in resource-management decisions, was drawn from the members' ballot.[8] The bill was defeated at its first reading in August.[8]

On 15 June 2010, Opposition Leader Phil Goff appointed Mahuta as Portfolio Spokesperson for Energy and as Associate Portfolio Spokesperson for Law and Order. (Shane Jones had previously held the energy portfolio). At the same time, in addition to the portfolio appointments, both Mahuta and Charles Chauvel moved to the parliamentary opposition front bench.[citation needed]

On 14 October 2014 Mahuta became a candidate in the 2014 Labour Party leadership election. She was unsuccessful, and Andrew Little became the leader of the Labour Party.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Elections NZ 2005: Official Count Results — Tainui" (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b Hauraki-Waikato results 2008.
  3. ^ "New Zealand Hansard – Members Sworn [Volume:651;Page:2]". New Zealand Parliament. 
  4. ^ "Ministerial List for Announcement on 31 October 2007" (DOC) (Press release). New Zealand Government. 31 October 2007. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin (2016). "'This is who I am', says first female MP to wear Māori facial tattoo in NZ parliament | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Goff announces changes to shadow Cabinet and portfolio allocations". New Zealand Labour Party. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Resource Management (Enhancement of Iwi Management Plans) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  9. ^ Small, Vernon & Gulliver, Aimee (18 November 2014). "Andrew Little new Labour Party leader – by a whisker". Retrieved 19 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Tuku Morgan
Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauāuru
Succeeded by
Tariana Turia
New constituency Member of Parliament for Tainui
Constituency abolished
Member of Parliament for Hauraki-Waikato
Political offices
Preceded by
Chris Carter
Minister of Local Government
Succeeded by
Rodney Hide