Nanaia Mahuta will be standing down as Ngāti Maniapoto treaty negotiator to take on her new ministerial roles in Parliament.
The new Government Executive was officially sworn in today at Government House, including Mahuta as the first woman ever to hold the Minister for Māori Development portfolio.
Mahuta ducked away after the ceremony for a Skype call with Kawekōrero Reporters and says she’s excited about the work ahead of her.
“A great honour has been bestowed for me to take on the Māori Development portfolio with our new Government under the mantle of Labour,” she said.
“My spirits are high because I believe the time has come to do the work that will benefit all people.”
Mahuta will also hold the Minister for Local Government and Associate Minister for the Environment portfolios.
Deputy Chairman of the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board, Keith Ikin, told Kawekōrero he is in full support of Mahuta’s new endeavours.
“Many congratulations to Nanaia for her appointment as Minister for Māori Development,” he said.
“Her tribe of Ngāti Maniapoto is very happy.”
Ikin went on to say, “I would like to commend her for all the work she has done to undertake the claims process for her tribe as she paved the way.”
“She managed to get Maniapoto and the Crown to agree to the amount of the monetary settlement.”
The tribe’s Agreement in Principle includes a financial and commercial redress of $165 million, and the return of sites of cultural significance.
This coming Monday, the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board will be meeting to discuss how to fill Mahuta’s position, as well as another position in the Treaty negotiating team.
The board hope to fill the roles within the next four weeks.