To Meka Whaitiri's electorate, Ikaroa Rāwhiti voters and iwi members say the decision by the prime minister is a sad result for the Tairāwhiti region.
Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell is the incumbent Māori MP for the Waiāriki electorate and will be challenged this year by Labour’s candidate, Tamati Coffey.
Flavell holds ministerial portfolios in Māori Development and Whānau Ora as well as being associate minister for Economic Development.
Te Ururoa Flavell has held the Waiariki seat for four terms since he was first elected in 2005. In 2013, he became the Māori Party co-leader following the retirement of Pita Sharples from politics.
Flavell has held primary Māori Party portfolios for Education and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.
He also held a number of minor portfolios including Tourism, Local Government, Internal Affairs, Sport and Recreation, Land Information and Education Review Office.
Flavell has been a member and Deputy Chairperson of the Education and Science Select Committee as well as being a current member on the Business Select Committee, Whips Select Committee and Standing Orders Committee.
The Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Raukawa descendant holds a Bachelor of Arts (Māori Studies and Anthropology) from the University of Auckland, a Master of Arts (Māori) from Waikato University and is a former student of Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo (Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language).
Flavell is passionate about ensuring te reo thrives as a living language, he wants to ensure Māori have access to warm and safe accommodation and is committed to providing Māori with the tools to achieve their aspirations.
Flavell is also a fitness fanatic who works out regularly. He has competed in IronMāori on numerous occasions and believes that physical well-being is an important part of who he is.
Raised in Rotorua and living in his whānau homestead at Ngongotaha, he has been married to wife Erana for more than 25 years, and they have five children and two mokopuna.