Hekia Parata (with Ngai Tahu, Ngati Porou and British tupuna), leaves parliament after a short but influential career.
She was elected to Parliament on the National party list in 2008, and was inside cabinet just over two years later in 2010 as Minister of Women’s and Ethnic Affairs. After the 2011 election she took on the tough Education portfolio, which she continued to hold until early 2017.
Ms Parata said she was leaving Parliament “with a huge optimism for our future and the settled conviction that I was blessed to have been born to these pacific isles, a New Zealander. Well, a Ngati Porou woman New Zealander, to be absolutely accurate - I guess I was just lucky”.
“We, all of us are the sons and daughters, descendants of adventurers, navigators, visionaries, risk-takers, brave and tenacious people, with imagination, grit and hope; who crossed te moana nui a kiwa; whether by whale, waka, ship or plane, to make this place Aotearoa new Zealand their home.”