Topics: Elections, Rereātea - Midday News

New coalition to determine next Māori Development Minister

By Tepara Koti

The role of Minister of Māori Development or Māori Affairs in its day, has been held by some legendary Māori icons of our country's political history.

Sir Apirana Ngata was the Minister of Māori Affairs from 1928 to 1934, Matiu Rata from 1972 to 1975, there was Koro Wētere in the 80s,

Winston Peters, Tau Henare, and Dover Samuels predominantly in the 90s, then Parekura Horomia, Dr Pita Sharples and Te Ururoa Flavell.

In 2014, former Prime Minister John Key renamed the position to Minister of Māori Development, he said to reflect a new focus for what used to be Māori affairs.

Now that Te Ururoa Flavell has departed government it means this position may be harder to fill given there is no clear cut coalition deal set the morning after the results.

This morning Election Aotearoa presenter Matai Smith asked Māori Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta, if Labour were to become the next government, who would be the next Minister of Māori Development?

Mahuta said, “That’s the hundred-million dollar question.”  She continued saying that Labour would be unwise to anticipate or predict that.

She said, “It’s not over yet, it’s an opportunity for us to regroup as a Labour Māori caucus and welcome that new talent in and look forward to the opportunity that may lay ahead of us.”

In the two coalition options, there are a number of possible candidates who could be chosen for the role. 

In a Labour-Green-NZ First government, possible candidates for the Minister of Māori Development role could be:

  • Shane Jones from New Zealand First
  • Marama Davidson from the Greens
  • or from the Labour, Kelvin Davis, Nanaia Mahuta or possibly any of the other Māori Electorate MPs.

In a National-ACT-NZ First government, possible candidates for the Minister of Māori Development role could be:

  • Winston Peters from New Zealand First
  • Shane Jones from New Zealand First
  • Nuk Korako from National Party
  • or perhaps Jami-lee Ross from National Party

With Winston Peters dubbed as the Kingmaker for the new government, it's anyone guess who will be the next Minister of Māori Development.

[NB: Video has some audio issue]