7 Aug 2013

New MP pays tribute to those who have gone before her

6:35 am on 7 August 2013

Newly sworn in Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to her parliamentary predecessors, including the first Maori women MPs, during her maiden speech to Parliament.

She held the seat for Labour seat in a by-election in June with a majority of 1659 votes.

The former Ngati Kahungunu chief executive stood for the eastern Maori seat following the death of her predecessor, Parekura Horomia.

Ms Whaitiri told Parliament it was an honour to serve her constituents from the East Cape to the Hutt Valley.

She acknowledged those Maori MPs who had gone before her and who had passed the Maori Representative Act in 1867 which led to the formation of the four original Maori seats - Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western.

Ms Whaitiri also mentioned the inaugural Eastern Maori MP, Tariha Te Moananui and Iriaka Matiu Ratana, the first Maori woman MP.

She also thanked her whanau and her supporters, who were present in the House to witness her maiden speech.