Former New Zealander of the Year, Dr. Lance O'Sullivan (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hau) is remaining 'tight-lipped' over speculation he is in discussions to lead The Opportunities Party in to the 2020 general election.
Strongly supported by Kiingi Tuheitia, Rahui Papa has been selected by the Māori Party to contest the Hauraki-Waikato seat held by the incumbent MP, Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta.
Papa has represented his marae in the Waikato-Tainui tribal parliament since its inception in 1999. He has been a member of the tribal executive committee known as Te Arataura for many years, and was elected as the Chairperson in 2013 bringing a sense of stability and cultural integrity to the role.
As integral member of the Iwi Leaders’ Groups on Freshwater issues, Whānau Ora, and Justice, he also led the Iwi Leaders Group on Te Pire Reo Māori, the Māori Language Bill.
Raised on his marae and papkāinga of Pōhara, in the Waikato, Papa has worked in broadcasting, teaching, and has served as a director and trustee on many boards, including the Tainui Waka Cultural Trust, Tainui Group Holdings, kōhanga reo, and lands and settlement trusts.
He has judged senior kapa haka competitions at regional and national levels. As an expert on cultural issues, Papa is sought by tertiary institutions and large corporates. Perhaps he is best known as an expert orator and a recognised authority on Waikato reo, tikanga, and tribal history.
He is married to Mariana and together they have six children.
His top three priorities are;
- Te reo Māori me ōna tikanga – Māori language, laws, culture and traditions
- Health and well-being of whānau
- Health and well-being of our natural environment