May 9, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Six Labour candidates to contest Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election

5 min read

LabourPartyWith the closure of nominations at 5pm today for Labours Ikaroa-Rawhiti candidature, the Labour Partys General Secretary has announced that six nominations have been received for selection as candidate. They are in alphabetical order:

Biographies of nominees

Hayden Hape

Hayden Hape is based in Dannevirke and has a strong agricultural and business background particularly in meatworks and shearing. Starting his career as a sawmill labourer and in the meatworks, Hayden has developed his skills and experience and now owns P & H Hape Agricultural Contractors and Pipiwai Agricultural Training Centre. Hayden enjoys sports and outdoor activities and is actively involved with his local iwi and hapu, including being:

  • Chairman of Kahungungu Ki Tamaki Nui A Rua:
  • Tamaki Nui A Rua representative on Ngati Kahungugu Iwi Incorporated Board of Trustees
  • A Trustee for Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tamaki Nui A Rua Claims Trust
  • Company Director for Kahungunu Asset Holding Company.

Hayden has engaged and consulted on behalf of his iwi at local and regional council-level, and the national level at oil and gas conferences. Hayden has also been a media speaker for iwi purposes at Tamaki Nui A Rua.

Hayden is affiliated to Ngati Kahungunu.

Molly Keelen-Para

Molly Keelen-Para is based in Gisborne and has a strong background in health work in the community, supported by professional qualifications. Molly has spent over 20 years in a variety of clinical health care environments and managed her own business to win contracts with businesses and Government. Molly is particularly proud of her success with developing and reconfiguring the Puhi Kaiti Medical Health Centre. Molly is currently working part-time as a kuia with Tairawhiti Mental Health Services while she finishes her Masters thesis with further intended PhD study. Molly has held a number of governance roles, including being:

  • Director on the Maori Relationships Board for Tairawhiti DHB
  • Member of the Tairawhiti Hospital Advisory Committee
  • Maori Caucus Member for the Tairawhiti District Health Board
  • Member of the Governance Board for Puhi Kaiti Medical Centre
  • Treasurer for Puhi Kaiti Maori Womens Welfare League branch
  • Committee Executive Member for Schizophrenic Fellowship Branch, Tairawhiti
  • Executive Member of the Gisborne Arts Council
  • Board of Trustees member for Lytton High School.

Molly is affiliated to Ngati Porou and Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti.

Henare Ngaera OKeefe

Henare OKeefe was born and raised in Ruatoria and is a Flaxmere Ward Councillor for the Hastings District Council. Henare spent 23 years working at Tomoana Freezing Works in a variety of roles from labourer to leading hand. Following the closure of the works, Henare became actively involved in community work, including as a facilitator and social welfare manager at Tomoana Resource Centre establishing a food bank and working with over 800 former colleagues to help them find alternative work and fostering over 200 children with his wife Pam. Henare has worked a lot with young people, including through youth justice and family violence programmes, and as an ambassador for Books in Homes and the Yellow Ribbon programme (to prevent youth suicide). Henare was awarded New Zealands community hero for 2012. Henares governance experience includes being:

  • A Hastings District Councillor
  • Ministerial appointment to the government Benefit Review Committee
  • Marae Management
  • Director of Henare OKeefe Limited
  • Chairman of Te Aranga O Heretaunga Marae
  • Chairman of Te Aranga Ltd (commercial arm of the marae).

Hayden is affiliated to Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu.

Tamati Olsen

Tamati Olsen lives in Wellington and spent his childhood in Wellington, the Hawkes Bay and the East Coast, including attending Te Aute Maori Boys College where he was awarded Proxime Ecesset (Runner-up to Dux). Tamati is a senior public servant, with over 20 years experience working in Government, including extensive experience working in Maori development and liaison roles. Tamati is currently working as the Chief Adviser in Maori Development at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and has previously worked as the Chief Adviser Maori and Acting Director of the Maori Work Programme at Housing New Zealand, Manager of the Liaison Services Group at Statistics New Zealand, Campus and Branch Manager for Te Ata Hou Charitable Trust and Assistant National Coordiantor at Te kohanga Reo National Trust Board. Tamati governance experience includes being the current chairperson of Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa, and previously as the Chairperson of Te Iwi o Rakaipaaka Incorporated, Chairperson of Te Kura Maori o Porirua and involvement with other community groups.

Tamati is affiliated to Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Rakaipaaka.

Shane Taurima

Shane Taurima was born and raised in Napier and Gisborne and is a senior radio, television and print journalist with more than 18 years experience working in the industry. Shane was recently promoted to the role of General Manager for Maori and Pacific programmes at TVNZ and has previously worked on high profile programmes, such as Q+A (as a presenter), Te Karere (as the Executive Producer), Marae (Presenter) and as a presenter on the 2008 Elections campaign. He is particularly proud of covering historic events, such as the funeral of the late Maori Queen, the 2012 US Presidential Election, and the Kevin Rudd apology to Aborigines and the Stolen Generations. Shane is fluent in te reo and tikanga Maori and has gained in-depth knowledge and experience working with MPs, Ministers, government departments and parliamentary staff.

Shane is affiliated to Ngati Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine (Mahia), with strong connections to Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngati Tamanuhiri and Ngati Porou.

Meka Whaitiri

Meka Whaitiri is the proud mother of two teenage sons. Meka was born in Manutuke and grew up in Whakatu, Hastings. Meka was Head Girl at Karamu High School and played both netball and softball at a national level. Meka started work at the local freezing works and went on to complete a Masters degree in Education from Victoria University. Meka has a strong Maori governance background and knowledge of how Government and Parliament works. She was promoted to be a senior public servant with the community education group and was also a senior adviser to the Minister of Maori Affairs. Meka has spent the past four years as the Chief Executive of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated and is also:

  • Director of Kahungunu Asset Holding Company
  • Deputy Chair of Waka Ama National Board
  • Member of the Hawkes Bay Netball Board
  • Mandated negotiator for Rongowhakaata
  • Former Chair of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Porirua and Horouta Kohanga Reo.

Meka is affiliated to Ngati Kahungunu and Rongowhakaata.



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