Mauri Pacific

Last updated

Mauri Pacific
Leader Tau Henare
HeadquartersN/A (disbanded)
Ideology Multiculturalism
International affiliationN/A (disbanded)
N/A (disbanded)

Mauri Pacific (literally meaning "spirit of the Pacific") was a short-lived political party in New Zealand. It was formed in 1998 by five former members of the New Zealand First party. It has often been described as a Māori party. Officially, Mauri Pacific was a multiculturalist party, welcoming anyone who supported racial and cultural harmony. Three of its five MPs were Māori, and two were Pākehā.

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

A political party is an organized group of people, often with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.


The party only contested one election and failed to retain any of its five seats in Parliament. The party disbanded shortly afterwards.


Mauri Pacific had its origins in New Zealand First, a populist party led by former National Party minister Winston Peters. After the 1996 election, New Zealand First won 17 seats, including a sweep of all five Māori seats. It held the balance of power in Parliament and eventually went into coalition with the incumbent conservative National Party with Peters as deputy prime minister. Gradually, however, the relationship between New Zealand First and the National Party deteriorated. In August 1998, Peters was sacked from Cabinet, and he pulled New Zealand First out of the coalition.

New Zealand First, commonly abbreviated to NZ First, is a nationalist and populist political party in New Zealand. It was founded in July 1993, following the resignation on 19 March 1993 of its leader and founder, Winston Peters, from the then-governing National Party. It has formed governments with both major parties in New Zealand: first with the National Party from 1996 to 1998, and then with the Labour Party from 2005 to 2008 and from 2017 to present.

Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people", often juxtaposing this group against the "elite". There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various things since that time. In Europe, few politicians or political groups describe themselves as "populist" and in political discourse the term is often applied to others pejoratively. Within political science and other social sciences, various different definitions of populism have been used, although some scholars propose rejecting the term altogether.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

Many New Zealand First MPs were not willing to follow their party back into Opposition, however. Eight of the party's sixteen MPs defected, establishing themselves as independents. These MPs supported the National Party government, enabling it to keep a slim majority in Parliament.


New Zealanders speak colloquially of waka-jumping when a Member of Parliament (MP) switches political party between elections, taking their parliamentary seat with them and potentially upsetting electoral proportionality in the Parliament of New Zealand.

Sometime later, five of the newly independent MPs gathered together to establish Mauri Pacific. They were led by Tau Henare, Minister of Māori Affairs and former deputy leader of New Zealand First. The other MPs were Tuku Morgan, Rana Waitai, Jack Elder, and Ann Batten.

Raymond Tau Henare is a former New Zealand Māori parliamentarian. In representing three different political parties in parliament—New Zealand First, Mauri Pacific and the National Party—Henare served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1993 to 1999 and from 2005 to 2014.

Tuku Morgan New Zealand politician

Tukoroirangi "Tuku" Morgan is a New Zealand Māori politician and former broadcaster.

Rana Waitai New Zealand politician

Rana Donald Waitai is a former New Zealand politician. He was a member of parliament from 1996 to 1999.

Henare, Morgan, and Waitai were previously members of the so-called "tight five", New Zealand First's group of Māori MPs. (The other two members of the "tight five," Tu Wyllie and Tuariki Delamere, were not involved with Mauri Pacific - Wyllie had remained with New Zealand First, and Delamere eventually joined the small Te Tawharau party.) Because its three highest-profile MPs were Māori, Mauri Pacific was considered by many[ who? ] to be a Māori party. Its policies were generally favourable towards Māori, such as its proposal to give customary Māori law equal status to modern Western law, but the party portrayed this as multiculturalism rather than mere Māori advocacy. The party made a particular attempt to gather support from Pacific Islanders, although was not particularly successful.

The Tight Five was a nickname given to the five Māori MPs elected to the New Zealand Parliament in 1996 from the centrist/populist New Zealand First party.

Tutekawa "Tu" Wyllie is a former New Zealand politician and rugby union player. A first five-eighth, Wyllie represented Wellington at a provincial level, and played one match for the New Zealand national side, the All Blacks, in 1980. He was the New Zealand First Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tonga from 1996 to 1999.

Tuariki John Edward Delamere is a former New Zealand politician. He served as an MP from 1996 to 1999, and was a member of Cabinet for the duration of his term.


Mauri Pacific was not well received by the general public. The behaviour of its members (particularly Tuku Morgan) had been criticised even before the splintering of New Zealand First, and the perception that these MPs had "betrayed" their former party was strong. Many voters believed that Mauri Pacific had been born out of political opportunism, not out of firmly-held principle. It later came out that Henare had challenged Peters for leadership of New Zealand First prior to the split.[ citation needed ] In addition, the party's policies were criticised as vague and unspecific.

In June, Independent and former New Zealand First MP Tuariki Delamere asked his supporters to give their party vote to Mauri Pacific. [1]

In November 1999 one of Mauri Pacific's candidates resigned to join the United New Zealand party, citing Mauri Pacific's lack of commitment to Asian voters. [2]

In the 1999 elections, Mauri Pacific stood candidates in twenty electorates. It also put forward a party list of twenty-two people. However, the party gained only 4,008 list votes (0.19% of the total), putting it in thirteenth place. None of Mauri Pacific's sitting MPs were re-elected or even won second place. Shortly after the election, Mauri Pacific disbanded, and the party was deregistered at its own request by the Electoral Commission. [3]

Party list

The party's party list at the 1999 election was: Tau Henare, Tuku Morgan, Peta Si'ulepa, Rana Waitai, Ann Batten, Te Orohi Paul, Atawhai Tibble, Amokura Huia Panoho, Rovina Anderson, Eric Chuah, Danny Turia, Rajesh Masters, Martin Kaipo, Helen Akhtari, Trieste Te Awe Awe, Sharon Faloon, Rayna Waitai, Fa'amatuainu Iakopo, Laura Mason, Richard Waitai, Kelly Waitai and Api Malu.

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  3. "Party mothballed". Evening Post. 20 December 2001. p. 2.