Tariana Turia looks back on 18 years in Parliament

By Ripeka Timutimu
  • Wellington

Tariana Turia is famously known for making a stand against the Foreshore and Seabed Legislation, and her involvement in the establishment of the Māori Party.

Turia has spent 18 years in the Lions den, firstly with Labour, and now with the Māori Party. 

Tariana Turia has been described as a rose amongst the thorns, she was certainly one of the sharpest MPs around.

It can be said that it was her directness to Helen Clark and her Government over the Foreshore and Seabed Act that paved the way for the establishment of the Māori Party, triggering a new Māori political movement.

She survived three terms with the Māori Party, and throughout the years shouldered huge criticism over dealings with the National Party, which eventually led to a public spat with Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, and a split in the party's support.

On a personal note, Tariana says the biggest challenge hasn't been the political side of things, but rather, something closer to home.

"The only challenging thing for me in this place has been when I have gone out and I don't have the reo and I have found that to be my greatest weakness"

She's returning home to her husband of 51 years, George, and their numerous children and grandchildren.

True to form, despite stepping out of the lions' den after years of hard work, it looks like Tariana has no plans of slowing down.