World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Minister of Māori Affairs


Minister of Māori Affairs

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
New Zealand

The Minister of Māori Development is the minister of the New Zealand government with broad responsibility for government policy towards Māori, the first inhabitants of New Zealand. The current Minister of Māori Development is Te Ururoa Flavell. Between 1947 and 2014 the position was called Minister of Māori Affairs; before that it was known as Minister of Native Affairs.


  • Role 1
  • History 2
  • Contemporary times 3
  • List of Ministers of Māori Affairs 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The role of the Minister of Māori Development differs somewhat from those of other ministers. While the Minister of Māori Development does have a government department to supervise (Te Puni Kōkiri, TPK for short, or the Ministry of Māori Development), he or she also has input into other portfolios to the extent that they affect Māori. For example, the Minister of Māori Development would expect to be involved in the development of Māori language policy in the education portfolio, even though education is normally the sole responsibility of the Minister of Education.


The office was originally called Minister of Native Affairs, or simply Native Minister. Most early Ministers of Native Affairs were not Māori, although a convention existed that there should be Māori in Cabinet (albeit without portfolio). Prior to the implementation of responsible government, Māori affairs (specifically the purchase of land from Māori by the Crown) had been handled by the Governor.

Attitudes of early Ministers were varied. The first Minister, William Richmond, considered Māori to be savages, and believed that his task was to "reform" Māori by making them more like Europeans. He was particularly hostile to Māori tradition of shared land ownership, considering it "beastly communism". Other Ministers were more friendly to Māori interests — James FitzGerald, the sixth Minister, believed that peaceful co-existence with Māori was vital, and considered the confiscation of Māori land to be an "enormous crime". Other Ministers have varied between these positions.

The first Minister of Native Affairs to be ethnically Māori was James Caroll, appointed by the Liberal Party in the late 19th century. Another prominent Minister of Native Affairs was Apirana Ngata, also of the Liberals. For the most part, however, early Ministers were Pākehā, although were frequently advised by Māori colleagues. Maui Pomare of the Reform Party and Eruera Tirikatene of the Labour Party were examples of politicians who played a major role in the portfolio without actually holding office. After Caroll and Ngata, it was not until Matiu Rata (1972–1975) that there was another ethnically Māori Minister of Māori Affairs.

Under the Maori Purposes Act 1947, the Ministerial title and all other government usage was changed from 'Native' to 'Maori'.

Contemporary times

In modern times, the tendency has been for the major parties to have Māori as their Māori Affairs spokespeople (and thus as Minister) when possible. The Labour Party has consistently had Māori in this role since the 1970s, while the National Party has had a mixture of Māori and Pākehā.

The current Minister of Māori Development is Te Ururoa Flavell, a member of the Maori Party. The Labour Maori Affairs Spokesman is Nanaia Mahuta, while The Greens and New Zealand First have David Clendon and Winston Peters.

After the 2014 general election cabinet reshuffle, the title was changed from Minister of Maori Affairs to Minister of Maori Development. While Prime Minister John Key said that there was not really any difference in the what the portfolio would inolve, "it gives you a sense of where the minister [Flavell] will want to shape the portfolio".[1]

List of Ministers of Māori Affairs

The table below lists ministers who have held responsibility for Māori issues. Initially, the title used was Minister of Native Affairs, but the title was changed to Minister of Maori Affairs on 17 December 1947 and then to Minister of Māori Affairs with the insertion of the macron in modern orthography under the Māori Language Commission. The table indicates whether a minister was Māori (that is, predominantly of Māori descent, or with enough Māori heritage as to be seen as Māori).

Name Was
Took Office Left Office Party PM
1 William Richmond 27 August 1858 10 November 1860 None Stafford
2 Frederick Weld 10 November 1860 12 July 1861 None Stafford
3 Walter Mantell 12 July 1861 18 December 1861 None Fox
4 Dillon Bell 6 August 1862 30 October 1863 None Domett
5 William Fox 30 October 1863 24 November 1864 None Whitaker
Walter Mantell, 2nd time 16 December 1864 27 July 1865 None Weld
6 James FitzGerald 12 August 1865 16 October 1865 None Weld
7 Andrew Russell 31 October 1865 24 August 1866 None Stafford
8 James Crowe Richmond August 1866 June 1869[2] None Stafford
9 Donald McLean 28 June 1869 10 September 1872 None Fox
Donald McLean, 2nd time 11 October 1872 7 December 1876 None Waterhouse, Fox, Vogel
Pollen, Vogel, Atkinson
10 Daniel Pollen 18 December 1876 13 October 1877 None Atkinson
11 John Sheehan 15 October 1877 8 October 1879 None Grey
12 John Bryce 8 October 1879 21 January 1881 None Hall
13 William Rolleston 4 February 1881 19 October 1881 None Hall
John Bryce, 2nd time 19 October 1881 16 August 1884 None Hall, Whitaker, Atkinson
14 John Ballance 16 August 1884 28 August 1884 None Stout
John Ballance, 2nd time 3 September 1884 8 October 1887 None Stout
15 Edwin Mitchelson 11 October 1887 24 January 1891 None Atkinson
John Ballance, 3rd time 24 January 1891 4 February 1891 Liberal (himself)
16 Alfred Cadman 4 February 1891 29 June 1893 Liberal Ballance, Seddon
17 Richard Seddon 6 September 1893 21 December 1899 Liberal (himself)
18 James Carroll Yes 21 December 1899 28 March 1912 Liberal Seddon, Hall-Jones, Ward
19 William MacDonald 28 March 1912 10 July 1912 Liberal Mackenzie
20 William Herries 10 July 1912 7 February 1921 Reform Massey
21 Gordon Coates 9 March 1921 10 December 1928 Reform Massey, Bell, (himself)
22 Apirana Ngata Yes 10 December 1928 1 November 1934 United (Liberal) Forbes
23 George Forbes 1 November 1934 6 December 1935 United (Liberal) (himself)
24 Michael Joseph Savage 6 December 1935 27 March 1940 Labour (himself)
25 Frank Langstone 1 April 1940 21 December 1942 Labour Fraser
26 Rex Mason 7 July 1943 19 December 1946 Labour Fraser
27 Peter Fraser 19 December 1946 13 December 1949 Labour (himself)
28 Ernest Corbett 13 December 1949 26 September 1957 National Holland, Holyoake
29 Keith Holyoake 26 September 1957 12 December 1957 National (himself)
30 Walter Nash 12 December 1957 12 December 1960 Labour (himself)
31 Ralph Hanan 12 December 1960 24 July 1969 National Holyoake
32 Duncan MacIntyre 22 December 1969 8 December 1972 National Holyoake, Marshall
33 Matiu Rata Yes 8 December 1972 12 December 1975 Labour Kirk, Rowling
Duncan MacIntyre, 2nd time 12 December 1975 13 December 1978 National Muldoon
34 Ben Couch Yes 13 December 1978 26 July 1984 National Muldoon
35 Koro Wētere Yes 26 July 1984 2 November 1990 Labour Lange, Palmer, Moore
36 Winston Peters Yes 1990 1991 National Bolger
37 Doug Kidd 1991 1993 National Bolger
38 John Luxton 1993 1996 National Bolger
39 Tau Henare Yes 16 December 1996 1998 NZ First Bolger, Shipley
Tau Henare, continued Yes 1998 1998 Independent Shipley
Tau Henare, continued Yes 1998 10 December 1999 Mauri Pacific Shipley
40 Dover Samuels Yes 10 December 1999 28 June 2000 Labour Clark
41 Parekura Horomia Yes 26 July 2000 19 December 2008 Labour Clark
42 Pita Sharples Yes 19 December 2008 8 October 2014 Māori Key
43 Te Ururoa Flavell Yes 8 October 2014 Incumbent Māori Key


  1. ^ Bennett, Adam (6 October 2014). "Flavell given portfolio renamed to reflect 'new focus' on Maori future". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  2. ^ 1966 Encyclopedia of New Zealand - RICHMOND, James Crowe, Te Ara 

External links

  • Te Puni Kokiri
  • Minister of Māori Affairs at
  • Minister for Whānau Ora at
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.