Parekura Horomia

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Parekura Horomia
Parekura Horomia portrait.jpg
Parekura Horomia in 2008
40th Minister of Māori Affairs
In office
26 July 2000 – 19 November 2008
Prime MinisterHelen Clark
Preceded byDover Samuels
Succeeded byPita Sharples
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti
In office
27 November 1999 – 29 April 2013[1]
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byMeka Whaitiri
Majority6,541 (60.71%)
(at 2011 election)
Personal details
Born(1950-11-09)9 November 1950
Tolaga Bay, New Zealand
Died29 April 2013(2013-04-29) (aged 62)
Tolaga Bay, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealand
Political partyLabour
CommitteesMāori Affairs Committee

Parekura Tureia Horomia (9 November 1950 – 29 April 2013[1]) was a New Zealand Labour Party politician who served as Minister of Māori Affairs between 2000 and 2008.[2]

Early life[edit]

Horomia was born in Tolaga Bay of Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga Hauiti, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu descent. He had seven brothers and sisters. As a schoolboy he used to walk five kilometres to school and back without shoes.[3]

In his early life, he worked as a manual labourer, then as a printer in the newspaper industry. Later Horomia became involved in the Department of Labour's East Coast work schemes and was appointed to supervisory positions—rising to general manager of the Community Employment Group by 1992.[citation needed]

At the same time, he began to take on a number of prominent positions with Māori community organisations.[citation needed]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
1999–2002 46th Ikaroa-Rāwhiti 25 Labour
2002–2005 47th Ikaroa-Rāwhiti 5 Labour
2005–2008 48th Ikaroa-Rāwhiti 5 Labour
2008–2011 49th Ikaroa-Rāwhiti 5 Labour
2011–2013 50th Ikaroa-Rāwhiti 6 Labour

In the 1999 election, Horomia stood as the Labour Party candidate for the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate, a Māori electorate on the east coast of the North Island, stretching from Gisborne to Upper Hutt. He defeated Derek Fox, a prominent figure in Māori politics, who was standing as an independent candidate.[4]

In the new Labour government formed after that election, Horomia became a minister outside cabinet, being Associate Minister of Māori Affairs, Associate Minister for Economic Development, Associate Minister of Employment, and Associate Minister of Education. In 2000, Dover Samuels was forced to step down as Minister of Māori Affairs after criminal allegations were made against him, and Horomia was appointed in his place. Although Samuels was cleared, it was decided that Horomia would retain the Māori Affairs portfolio.

Labour was defeated in the 2008 general election, but Horomia retained his seat – increasing his majority to about 1600. This was despite a challenge from well-known broadcaster Derek Fox.[5]


Horomia played a significant role in setting up Maori Television and expanding the role of iwi radio in New Zealand. Former Prime Minister Helen Clark said she had frequently relied on his knowledge of Māoridom and Māoritanga and his input was crucial to the Foreshore and Seabed legislation, which Labour passed in 2004 while he was minister. After the controversial bill became law, Associate Maori Affairs Minister Tariana Turia resigned from Labour to form the Māori Party. The law was repealed by the National Government in 2011.[6]


Horomia was overweight for much of his life. He talked about his health battles and tried to lose weight many times. In 2004 he went on a public diet to encourage others to do the same.[7] He died at his home on 29 April 2013 at the age of 62.[1][8] As Horomia was an electorate MP, a by-election was held on 29 June 2013 to elect a replacement.[9]

Tributes after his death[1] came from not only his Labour MP colleagues,[10] but also from the Government.[11] Labour leader David Shearer cut short a trip to Washington to attend his funeral and said he had "an incredible work ethic, travelling to all parts of the country. He was accepted at pretty much every marae in the country, he was incredibly well-liked, had enormous heart, who worked so hard for his people."[7]

His tangi was held the following week, and the funeral on 4 May.[12]



  1. ^ a b c d "Labour MP Parekura Horomia dies, age 62". 3 News NZ. 29 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Ministerial List for Announcement on 31 October 2007" (Press release). New Zealand Government. 31 October 2007. Archived from the original (DOC) on 1 October 2008.
  3. ^ Maiden speech to parliament 15 February 2000
  4. ^ "Candidate vote details – Ikaroa-Rāwhiti". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  5. ^ Ikaroa-Rawhiti results 2008 Archived 12 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Labour MP Parekura Horomia dies, age 62
  7. ^ a b Horomia funeral delayed, Auckland Now, 30 April 2013
  8. ^ "Labour MP Parekura Horomia dies". The New Zealand Herald. 29 April 2013. Archived from the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  9. ^ Small, Vernon; Hamish Rutherford (1 May 2013). "Key to miss funeral after change of day". The Dominion Post. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Tributes flow in for Parekura Horomia". 3 News NZ. 29 April 2013.
  11. ^ "Horomia's 'king-sized' life remembered". 3 News NZ. 30 April 2013.
  12. ^ "Army drafted in to feed mourners". 3 News NZ. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti
Succeeded by
Meka Whaitiri
Political offices
Preceded by
Dover Samuels
Minister of Māori Affairs
Succeeded by
Pita Sharples