Rino Tirikatene

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Rino Tirikatene

Rino Tirikatene.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Te Tai Tonga
Assumed office
30 November 2011 (2011-11-30)
Preceded by Rahui Katene
Personal details
Born1972 (age 4849)
Rangiora, New Zealand
Political party Labour Party
Relations Eruera Tirikatene (grandfather)
Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan (aunt)
Website Party website

Rino Tirikatene (born 1972) [1] is a New Zealand politician and a member of the House of Representatives, representing the Te Tai Tonga electorate since the 2011 election. He is a member of the Labour Party. He comes from a family with a strong political history.


Early life

Born in Rangiora, Tirikatene affiliates to the Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Hine iwi. [2] He is the grandson of Sir Eruera Tirikatene and the nephew of Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan. His grandfather and aunt between them held the Southern Maori electorate for 64 years from 1932 and 1996. As such, the name Tirikatene is for many voters synonymous with the Māori electorate that covers the southern part of New Zealand. [3]

Prior to running for parliament, Tirikatene worked as a commercial lawyer with Simpson Grierson and in a variety of Māori economic development roles. [4]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
2011 2014 50th Te Tai Tonga 45 Labour
2014 2017 51st Te Tai Tonga none Labour
2017 2020 52nd Te Tai Tonga none Labour
2020 present 53rd Te Tai Tonga 29 Labour

In Opposition, 20112017

Tirikatene stood for Labour in Te Puku O Te Whenua in the 1996 election. [5] His father, Rino Tirikatene senior, was originally selected for the seat but died suddenly on the campaign trail. Tirikatene was asked to replace his father. [6] That year, New Zealand First won all Māori electorates, with Rana Waitai beating Tirikatene and Tu Wyllie defeating Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan. [7]

He was selected to represent Labour in the Te Tai Tonga electorate on 1 December 2010. [8] Te Tai Tonga is one of the seven Māori electorates, covers the South Island plus Wellington [9] and is New Zealand's largest electorate by area. [10] In the 2011 New Zealand general election, Tirikatene was placed at number 45 on the Labour Party list. [11]

He contested the Te Tai Tonga electorate against the incumbent, Rahui Katene of the Māori Party. Labour's selection of Tirikatene was criticised as cynical by Katene, as they are both from the same hapū, but this was rejected by Tirikatene, as "all Maoris connect up somewhere along the line". [9] Tirikatene won the electorate with a margin of 1,475 votes. [12] The electorate had previously been held by Labour, from 1999 until 2005. [13]

In 2013, Tirikatene voted against the Marriage Amendment Bill, which aims to permit same sex marriage in New Zealand, with fellow Labour MPs William Sio, Ross Robertson and Damien O'Connor. [14]

Tirikatene significantly increased his majority in the 2014 election and again in 2017. [15] [16] In Opposition for the six years of his Parliamentary career, Tirikatene served variously as the Labour Party spokesperson for customs, fisheries, tourism and Treaty of Waitangi negotiations, as well as holding a number of associate spokesperson roles. [17]

In Government, 2017present

When the Labour Party formed a coalition government in 2017, Tirikatene was appointed chairperson of the Māori Affairs select committee. [17]

During the 2020 general election, Tirikatene was re-elected by a margin of 6,855 votes, retaining Te Tai Tonga for Labour. [18]

In early November 2020, Tirikatane was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries and Minister for Trade and Export Growth with responsibility for Māori Trade. [19]

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  1. "Roll of members of the New Zealand House of Representatives, 1854 onwards" (PDF). New Zealand Parliament. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  2. "Rino Tirikatene". New Zealand Parliament. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  3. Potiki, Tahu (18 November 2011). "When politics is in the DNA". The Press . Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  4. http://www.labour.org.nz/rinotirikatene
  5. "Another Tirikatene standing for Parliament". Radio New Zealand . 2 December 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  6. "Politics a family affair for Tirikatene". Otago Daily Times . 15 November 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  7. "Former NZ First MP says party's return counterproductive". Radio New Zealand . 28 November 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  8. "Rino Tirikatene wins Labour's Te Tai Tonga selection". Scoop . 1 December 2010.
  9. 1 2 Fensome, Alex (20 October 2011). "Labour candidate eyes Southland". The Southland Times . Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  10. Birchfield, Daniel (28 September 2011). "Labour's Tirikatene focuses on the elderly". The Timaru Herald . Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  11. "Labour Party List 2011" (Press release). New Zealand Labour Party. Scoop. 10 April 2011.
  12. "Official Count Results -- Te Tai Tonga". Electoral Commission. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  13. "Maori Party loses Te Tai Tonga". The Dominion Post . 26 November 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  14. "Gay marriage: How MPs voted". The New Zealand Herald. 18 April 2013.
  15. "Official Count Results -- Te Tai Tonga". Electoral Commission. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  16. "2017 General Election Results of the Official Count". gazette.govt.nz. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  17. 1 2 "Tirikatene, Rino - New Zealand Parliament". www.parliament.nz. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  18. "Te Tai Tonga - Official Result". Electoral Commission . Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  19. "Ministerial List for Announcement on Monday" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2 November 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 November 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Rahui Katene
Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tonga