Topic: Politics

Mahuta first female Māori Development Minister and a new portfolio for Davis

By Talisa Kupenga
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Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta will now sit inside Cabinet while Kelvin Davis, as the Minister of Crown and Māori Relations, has a newly-created portfolio. 

A new post-treaty settlement portfolio for Labour’s Deputy Kelvin Davis with a focus on economic opportunities for Māori.

"It’s a new body to work with iwi post-settlement to help and support them to achieve their aspirations."

Davis' says the new role would not affect iwi awaiting settlement and that support from the new body could also extend to iwi that made poor post-treaty settlement decisions.

"Just because people made poor decisions doesn't mean to say we want to leave them down in the gutter. We want to lift everybody up and make sure all Māori are successful in doing well."

Nanaia Mahuta is now the first woman ever to hold the Minister of Māori Development portfolio. She is also the first to sit inside cabinet since the late Parekura Horomia.

Mahuta says “I'm very happy to bring my personal approach. Our Labour team has now brought this position to be within cabinet. In the past it was a position outside of cabinet.”

Davis says once he's sworn in he will look to engage with iwi within the new role. Mahuta was yet to decide what the future holds for the Māori Land Service.