Tight Five

Last updated
Tau Henare
New Zealand Parliament
199396 44th Northern Maori NZ First
199698 45th Te Tai Tokerau 2 NZ First
199899Changed allegiance to: Mauri Pacific
200508 48th List29 National
200811 49th List26 National
201114 50th List40 National
Tuariki Delamere
New Zealand Parliament
19961998 45th Te Tai Rawhiti 18 NZ First
19981999Changed allegiance to: Te Tawharau
Tuku Morgan
New Zealand Parliament
199698 45th Te Tai Hauāuru 10 NZ First
199899Changed allegiance to: Mauri Pacific
Rana Waitai
New Zealand Parliament
199698 45th Te Puku O Te Whenua 27 NZ First
199899Changed allegiance to: Mauri Pacific
Tu Wyllie
New Zealand Parliament
19961999 45th Te Tai Tonga 36 NZ First

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.

Māori people Indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand

The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of waka (canoe) voyages somewhere between 1320 and 1350. Over several centuries in isolation, these settlers developed their own distinctive culture whose language, mythology, crafts and performing arts evolved independently from other eastern Polynesian cultures.

New Zealand Parliament legislative body of New Zealand

The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by her governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The New Zealand Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. It has met in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, since 1865.

Centrism describes a political outlook or specific position

In politics, centrism—the centre or the center —is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right.



New Zealand First had been founded in 1993 by Winston Peters, a former National Party Minister of Māori Affairs. In that year's election, Tau Henare, great-grandson of legendary Māori politician Taurekareka Henare, won the Northern Maori seat, one of five seats reserved for Māori at the time, and became New Zealand First's second MP, along with Peters. This victory broke a long Labour hold on the Māori electorates. Soon after the election, Peters named Henare as deputy leader of New Zealand First.

Winston Peters New Zealand politician

Winston Raymond Peters is a New Zealand politician who has served since 2017 as the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was previously Deputy Prime Minister from 1996 to 1998. Peters has led the populist New Zealand First party since its foundation in 1993. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2011, having previously served from 1979 to 1981 and 1984 to 2008.

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.

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.

The party was the biggest beneficiary of New Zealand's switch to mixed member proportional representation. In the 1996 elections, New Zealand First won 17 seats, including 6 electorate seats and swept all five Māori seats. Henare was reelected in Te Tai Tokerau (the former Northern Maori). He was joined by Rana Waitai in Te Puku O Te Whenua, Tuku Morgan in Te Tai Hauāuru, Tuariki Delamere in Te Tai Rawhiti, and Tu Wyllie in Te Tai Tonga. When New Zealand First entered in a coalition government with the National Party, Peters served as deputy Prime Minister, and Henare and Delamere joined Peters in Cabinet. Henare served as Minister of Māori Affairs and Delamere as Minister of Immigration and Pacific Affairs.

Te Tai Tokerau Current New Zealand Māori electorate

Te Tai Tokerau is a New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorate that was created out of the Northern Maori electorate ahead of the first Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) election in 1996. It was first held by Tau Henare representing New Zealand First for one term, and then Dover Samuels of the Labour Party for two terms. From 2005 to 2014, it was held by MP Hone Harawira. Initially a member of the Māori Party, Harawira resigned from both the party and then Parliament, causing the 2011 by-election. He was returned under the Mana Party banner in July 2011 and confirmed at the November 2011 general election. In the 2014 election, he was beaten by Labour's Kelvin Davis, ending the representation of the Mana Party in Parliament.

Rana Waitai New Zealand politician

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

Te Puku O Te Whenua or "the belly of the land" was one of the five new New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorates created in 1996 for MMP. It was replaced in the 1999 election.

The five Māori electorate MPs soon became known as the "Tight Five," named after the five rugby forwards who do most of the pushing in a scrum. Largely because of their huge electoral upset, they gained a very high profile in both New Zealand First and nationwide. However, they along with many other New Zealand First MPs attracted some controversy for their behavior. Morgan, in particular, faced criticism for reportedly misappropriating funds from a television network where he worked before entering Parliament. [1]

Rugby football refers to the team sports of rugby league and rugby union.

Scrum (rugby) method of restarting play in rugby

A scrum is a method of restarting play in rugby that involves players packing closely together with their heads down and attempting to gain possession of the ball. Depending on whether it is in rugby union or rugby league, the scrum is utilized either after an accidental infringement or when the ball has gone out of play. Scrums occur more often, and are now of greater importance, in union than in league. Starting play from the line of scrimmage in gridiron football is derived from the scrum.


In December 1997, National's Jim Bolger was ousted as Prime Minister in a party room coup by Jenny Shipley. Tensions rapidly developed between the coalition partners and within New Zealand First itself. In 1998, Henare staged an unsuccessful party room coup of his own against Peters. Soon afterwards, Shipley sacked Peters from Cabinet. Peters immediately pulled New Zealand First out of the coalition, but eight New Zealand First MPs left the party instead and continued to support the National Government as independent MPs. Among these MPs were all of the Tight Five except Wyllie.

Jim Bolger Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician

James Brendan Bolger is a New Zealand politician of the National Party who was the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving from 1990 to 1997.

Prime Minister of New Zealand head of the New Zealand government

The Prime Minister of New Zealand is the head of government of New Zealand. The incumbent Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, took office on 26 October 2017.

Jenny Shipley 36th Prime Minister of New Zealand

Dame Jennifer Mary Shipley is a former New Zealand politician who served as the 36th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1997 to 1999. She was the first female prime minister of New Zealand, and is the only woman to have led the National Party.

Henare, Waitai and Morgan eventually founded a new party, Mauri Pacific, led by Henare. Delamere remained an independent prior to the 1999 elections, when he joined Te Tawharau, a small Māori party allied with the Mana Māori Movement.

Mauri Pacific political party in New Zealand

Mauri 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.

Te Tawharau was a Māori political party in New Zealand.

The Mana Māori Movement was a New Zealand political party. It advocated on behalf of the Māori people. It was founded by Eva Rickard, a prominent Māori activist. Rickard was originally a member of Mana Motuhake, another Māori party, but quit when Mana Motuhake joined the Alliance. Rickard, believing that an independent Māori party was needed, founded Mana Māori in 1993.

In the 1999 elections, all of the Tight Five were defeated, with only Delamere managing to even finish second. Henare is the only one who returned to parliament, joining the National Party and serving as a list MP from 2005 to 2014. [2] Waitai and Delamere have also rejoined the National Party since leaving Parliament. [3] Waitai was elected to the Wanganui District Council in 2007. Morgan became Māori co-chair for the Hauraki-Waikato electorate in 2015. [4] In July 2016, he was elected president of the Māori Party. [5] In December 2017, he resigned after the 2017 general election. [6]

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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.

1999 New Zealand general election

The 1999 New Zealand general election was held on 27 November 1999 to determine the composition of the 46th New Zealand Parliament. The governing National Party, led by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, was defeated, being replaced by a coalition of Helen Clark's Labour Party and the smaller Alliance. This marked an end to nine years of the Fourth National Government, and the beginning of the Fifth Labour Government which would govern for nine years in turn, until its loss to the National Party in the 2008 general election.

1996 New Zealand general election Election on 12 October 1996

The 1996 New Zealand general election was held on 12 October 1996 to determine the composition of the 45th New Zealand Parliament. It was notable for being the first election to be held under the new mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system, and produced a parliament considerably more diverse than previous elections. It saw the National Party, led by Jim Bolger, retain its position in government, but only after protracted negotiations with the smaller New Zealand First party to form a coalition. New Zealand First's position as "kingmaker", able to place either of the two major parties into government, was a significant election outcome.

Māori Party New Zealand political party promoting indigenous rights

The Māori Party is an indigenous rights-based centre-left political party in New Zealand. Tariana Turia founded the party in 2004 after resigning from the governing centre-left Labour Party, for whom she was a minister, over the foreshore and seabed ownership controversy. She and Pita Sharples, a high-profile academic, became the first co-leaders.

Māori electorates

In New Zealand politics, Māori electorates, colloquially known as the Māori seats, are a special category of electorate that gives reserved positions to representatives of Māori in the New Zealand Parliament. Every area in New Zealand is covered by both a general and a Māori electorate; there are currently seven Māori electorates. Since 1967 candidates in Māori electorates have not needed to be Māori themselves, but to register as a voter in the Māori electorates people need to declare they are of Māori descent.

45th New Zealand Parliament

The 45th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand. Its composition was determined by the 1996 election, and it sat until the 1999 election.

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.

Tuku Morgan New Zealand politician

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

Māori politics

Māori politics is the politics of the Māori people, who were the original inhabitants of New Zealand and who are now the country's largest minority. Before the arrival of Pākehā (Europeans) in New Zealand, Māori society was based largely around tribal units, and chiefs provided political leadership. With the British settlers of the 19th century came a new British-style government. From the outset, Māori sought representation within this government, seeing it as a vital way to promote their people's rights and improve living standards. Modern Māori politics can be seen as a subset of New Zealand politics in general, but has a number of distinguishing features. Many Māori politicians are members of major, historically European-dominated, political parties, but several Māori parties have been formed.

The Māori renaissance is the revival in fortunes of the Māori of New Zealand beginning in the latter half of the twentieth century. During this period, the perception of Māori went from being that of a "dying race" to being politically, culturally and artistically ascendant.

Te Tai Tonga Māori electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives

Te Tai Tonga is a New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. The current MP for Te Tai Tonga is Rino Tirikatene of the Labour Party, who in 2011 defeated Rahui Katene of the Māori Party, who in turn had won the seat in 2008.

Te Tai Hauāuru

Te Tai Hauāuru is a New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives, that was first formed for the 1996 election. The electorate was represented by Tariana Turia from 2002 to 2014, first for the Labour Party and then for the Māori Party. Turia retired and was succeeded in 2014 by Labour's Adrian Rurawhe who again retained the seat in 2017.

Northern Maori was one of the four original New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorates, from 1868 to 1996.

Rino Tirikatene New Zealand politician

Rino Tirikatene 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.


  1. "'Close eye' on TV grant to Tuku Morgan". The New Zealand Herald. 29 April 2002. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  2. Michael, Fox (30 April 2014). "Tau calls time on Parliament". Stuff New Zealand . Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  3. Young, Audrey (19 August 2000). "National's waka nets Waitai". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  4. Trevett, Claire (1 December 2015). "Maori Party weigh in on Labour's reshuffle". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  5. Young, Audrey (16 July 2016). "Tukoroirangi Morgan elected as Maori Party president". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  6. Gardiner, Heta (11 December 2017). "Māori Party president resigns and calls for co-leaders to follow suit" . Retrieved 30 April 2018.