Waatea News Column: The most powerful Maori Caucus in NZ history


The incredible line reality that Māori make up a quarter of the new Cabinet makes the Māori Caucus the most powerful in NZ political history.

The advancement of Nanaia Mahuta into being New Zealand’s first-ever woman Minister of Foreign Affairs, Willie Jackson taking Māori Development, Peeni Henare as NZDF Minister, Kiritapu Allan not only winning East Coast but advancing into Cabinet and Meka Whaitiri’s return represent a concentration of Māori political power never before seen in New Zealand politics.

If there was ever a question over why Māori should support Labour, it has been answered by this Cabinet line up.

The difficulty of course is what to do with that power?

The bleak statistics speak for themselves in terms of the system failing Māori. An enormous injection of funding into the universal supports like benefits and free breakfast in schools are required alongside housing and jobs.

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Additionally, you have Māoridom demanding they take over the social services that are failing them. There simply must be an independent Māori Health Authority and Oranga Tamariki requires urgent deconstruction.

If this new Cabinet can’t realise Māori aspiration, then none can.

First published on Waatea News.


  1. I’ve taken it as paying the Maori MPs off. The best thing they could do for Maori would be insisting on the Welfare Experts Group report being enacted. Come What May. Anything else is not enough.


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