Labour List MP
As a member of a strong Labour Government, I recently received more than 30,000 signatures backing Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta's actions to strengthen Te Tiriti partnership commitments in Local Government bodies, by improving opportunities to create Maori wards.
As newly elected chair of Parliament's Maori Affairs Select Committee, I am committed to delivering change and increasing Maori representation in this area.
It was significant Toni Boynton - whose previous mahi around Maori wards in Whakatane I had backed - handed me the signatures.
Minister Mahuta previously said removing the legislative barrier to hold a poll would be her priority if elected – and it is. Look for updates on my Facebook.
We are also reinforcing our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi by delivering on our election promise to continue strengthening te reo Maori in our schools.
Last term, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis kicked off the Te Ahu o Te Reo Maori trial - training more than 1000 people in the correct use of our taonga.
Now, we're looking for 10,000 new champions across the motu – including here in the Waiariki - so that te reo can be used every day by everyone in our classrooms.
I encourage all teachers and support staff to register now, via the Ministry of Education website.
Lastly, I wish all Waiariki whanau a summer of safety around our roads and beaches. I also acknowledge the festive season ahead for whaaau of those lost in the Whakaari tragedy. Our thoughts, awhi and aroha remain with you, always.