20 Sep 2013

First Aboriginal woman MP will be under spotlight - Maori academic

5:48 am on 20 September 2013

A Maori economics lecturer in Australia says because the first Aboriginal MP is a woman and indigenous, it is expected that she will be under more scrutiny than any other MPs.

Darwin-born Labor MP Nova Peris won her seat in the Senate during the recent federal elections to represent the Northern Territory.

Brent Reihana, of Ngapuhi, Tuhoe and Te Whakatohea descent, says he can draw some comparisons to how former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was treated.

He says any women in politics in Australia have got their work cut out for them.

Mr Reihana says Ms Gillard, for example, was encouraged into her role as prime minister by some people who really wanted to see a change.

However, he says it was quite a radical move and if Ms Gillard was seen to be moving the country forward it was because someone put her there, but if she went backwards it was because she was a woman.

Mr Reihana says as for Nova Peris, realistically, she has a lot of work ahead of her - not only as a woman in politics but also as an Aboriginal.