advocacy and activism

Rawiri Waititi biography: 13 things about New Zealand politician, Māori Party member

Rawiri Wikuki Waititi is a politician from New Zealand. He is a grandnephew of Māori teacher, educationalist and community leader Hoani Retimana Waititi.

An advocate for Māori, Rawiri publicly advocated for a name change for New Zealand. Here are 13 more things about him:

  1. He was born in Ōpōtiki, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand into a family with firm links into the Māori iwis Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngāti Porou. (a)
  2. He was raised in Whangaparaoa in the North Island, New Zealand(a)
  3. When he was 13 years old, he was sent to Auckland, New Zealand where he stayed with his aunt Dame June Mariu. (a)
  4. He attended Rutherford High School in Te Atatu, Auckland(a)
  5. As a rugby player, the most success he had was making the North Harbour Rugby Union reps in the under-19s and then the Auckland Colts. (a)
  6. In 2000, he married John Tamihere’s daughter Christina Tamihere-Waititi. They have five children together namely Taowaru Wikuki, Huiarangi Te Aranga, Aperahama Tataikoko, Te Ohanui o Aperahama and Tumanako Rauhuia. (a)
  7. He gave up rugby when kapa haka became his priority. A singer and a guitarist, he spent almost two decades with Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, which became the supreme winner at Te Matatini in 2005 and in 2015. (a)
  8. From 2010 to 2012, he attended Te Wananga o Raukawa, where he earned his master’s degree in mātauranga Māori. He went on to work there as a lecturer. (a) (b)
  9. In January 2013, he became a senior manager at Te Runanga o Te Whanau. (a)
  10. He was not placed on the Labour Party list when he ran for the party in Waiariki in the 2014 New Zealand general election. He lost the seat of Waiariki to Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell(c) (d)
  11. On October 17, 2020, he assumed office as a member of the New Zealand Parliament for Waiariki. He became a party co-leader of Māori Party on November 16, 2020 and a member of Māori Affairs on December 2, 2020. (e)
  12. On January 3, 2021, he escorted 16 prisoners who surrendered after protesting at Waikeria Prison in Waikato by lighting fires and getting onto the prison roof. (f)
  13. On February 9, 2021, New Zealand house of representatives speaker Trevor Mallard ejected him from parliamentary proceedings for refusing to wear a necktie in line with the parliament’s business attire dress code. He instead wore a hei tiki necktie, a Māori business attire. Because of the incident, wearing ties in the parliament became compulsory. (g)

 

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