After the votes were tied in the Galatea-Murupara Ward for a place on the Whakatāne District Council, both Hinerangi Goodman and Alison Silcock’s names were put in a box, with a name drawn to determine who would become a councilor. So who was it? Te Ao was the only media present at the drawing of the names, and we interviewed Dale Ofsoske the Electoral Officer who drew the name of the winner out of a box. He tells us who will join council.
After 35 years of activism and community work, Elizabeth Kerekere (Ngāti Oneone, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Whānau a Kai, Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri) is best known for her work for takatāpui (Māori LGBTIQ) and Rainbow communities, Treaty advocacy and youth development. She is a specialist in strategic planning, policy development and project management. She will be running against the sitting MP Meka Whaitiri of Labour and Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox.
Kerekere is also an artist, having her work exhibited internationally. She is founder and Chair of Tīwhanawhana Trust (takatāpui well-being). She sits on the board of LAGANZ (Rainbow archives), the Intersex Roundtable Working Group with ITANZ and the Human Rights Commission. She mentors LGBTIQ youth leaders; and is Co-chair of Ara Taiohi (peak body for youth development), Bicultural Advisor at Te Ohaaki a Hine - The National Network Ending Sexual Violence, Rainbow Voice, the 'It’s Not OK' Campaign; and is Assistant Research Fellow for the LGBTIQ Homelessness Project.
Elizabeth cares deeply about suicide prevention, anti-violence, healthy relationships, and housing for all. As a kaupapa Māori enthusiast she promotes strength-based cultural approaches to the needs and aspirations of whānau and community.