Topic: Ratana

Henare PM’s speaker for Rātana

By Heta Gardiner
  • North Island: West Coast

For the first time, Peeni Henare will be speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister at Rātana this year.  The Whānau Ora Minister who is also Labour's youngest minister is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“My delivery needs to be precise and correct,” says Henare.

He is one of Labour's youngest ministers still in his 30's, who has been selected by the Prime Minister to be her speaker at Rātana this year.

This will be her first time there as Prime Minister and Henare is excited with the new responsibility.

“When it comes to the Prime Minister asking me to be the voice for Labour, I immediately thought about my father,” he explains.

His father Erima Henare was an eloquent orator, before his sudden death in 2015. It's an honour to speak on behalf of the government, but a role Peeni will take on with caution.

“How do I wear the minister hat, the politician hat and the Māori hat all at once? Those are the types of things going through my mind at the moment,” says Henare.

A united Government will enter the Rātana Pā gates this year - Labour, New Zealand First and the Green Party will be welcomed on altogether.

The minister says it is appropriate to put all the big issues on the table at this event. 

“Where better than Rātana to discuss the big issues and go as one as the new government?” exclaims Henare.

The politicians will be welcomed to Rātana on January 24.