Western Maori was one of New Zealand's four original parliamentary Māori electorates established in 1868, along with Northern Maori, Eastern Maori and Southern Maori. In 1996, with the introduction of MMP, the Maori electorates were updated, and Western Maori was replaced with the Te Tai Hauāuru and Te Puku O Te Whenua electorates.
The Western Maori electorate extended from South Auckland and the Waikato to Taranaki and the Manawatu. The seat originally went to Wellington. With MMP it was replaced by the Te Tai Hauāuru and Te Puku O Te Whenua electorates in 1996.
The electorate included the following tribal areas: Tainui, Taranaki
The first member of parliament for Western Maori from 1868 was Mete Paetahi.At the nomination meeting in Wanganui, held at the Courthouse, Paetahi was the only candidate proposed. He was thus elected unopposed. He represented the electorate of Western Maori from 1868 to 1870. He contested the electorate again at the 1871 general election, but of the three candidates, he came last. He was defeated by Wiremu Parata, with Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui in second place.
In the 1879 election there was some doubt about the validity of the election result, and a law was passed to confirm the result in Western Maori and two other electorates.
From the 1890s to the 1930s the seat was held by various Reform Party MPs. In 1935, Toko Ratana the eldest son of the founder of the Ratana Church won the seat and became the second Ratana MP; he became a Labour MP following the Labour-Ratana pact. From this point until the abolition of the seat prior to the 1996 election the seat was held by Labour MPs.
Toko Ratana died in 1944 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Matiu Rātana. He died in 1949 shortly before the 1949 general election. His wife Iriaka Rātana stood in his stead, despite significant opposition from those supporting traditional leadership roles, with Te Puea Herangi speaking out against her claim to "captain the Tainui canoe". Only the strong backing of the Rātana church and her threat to stand as a Rātana Independent secured her the Labour Party nomination. She became the first woman Maori MP, getting a similar majority (6317) to her husband in 1946 (his majority then was 6491), but no less than seven independent candidates (and one Kauhananui candidate, K Nutana) stood against her; they got 116 to 326 votes each.
Candidates for the National Party (who usually came second) included Hoeroa Marumaru (1946, 1949 & 1951) and Pei Te Hurinui Jones (1957, 1960 and 1963; also earlier).
Western Maori was represented by 15 Members of Parliament:
Independent Reform Ratana Labour
|1868 Māori election||Mete Paetahi|
|1871 election||Wiremu Parata|
|1876 election||Hoani Nahi|
|1879 election||Wiremu Te Wheoro|
|1884 election||Te Puke Te Ao|
|1886 by-election||Hoani Taipua|
|1893 election||Ropata Te Ao|
|1896 election||Henare Kaihau|
|1911 election||Māui Pōmare|
|1930 by-election||Taite Te Tomo|
|1935 election||Toko Ratana|
|1945 by-election||Matiu Ratana|
|1949 election||Iriaka Rātana|
|1969 election||Koro Wētere|
Note that the affiliation of many early candidates is not known. There is contradictory information about the affiliation of Henare Kaihau. In Wilson's New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984, the authoritative work covering parliamentary history, Kaihau is listed as a Reform Party supporter from the party's inception in 1908.Kaihau does, however, appear on a poster of the Liberal Party in 1910. The New Zealand Herald , in its 1905 election reporting, also lists him as a government supporter, i.e. a Liberal.
Another example of contradictory reporting is for the 1911 election. Three newspapers, The Marlborough Express , The New Zealand Herald , and the Auckland Star reported political affiliations. Two papers have Māui Pōmare as an independent, whilst the third has him as a Labour supporter. Henare Kaihau is given three different affiliations: independent, Liberal, and Reform. Pepene Eketone is categorised as Labour by two of the papers, whilst the third has him as a Liberal supporter. The Auckland Star lists another Labour supporter, but the name is a composite of first and last names of two of the candidates.
|Independent||Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui||186||31.05|
|Independent||Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui||490||33.77||+2.72|
|Independent||Wiremu Te Wheoro||1,053||70.48|
|Independent||Wiremu Te Wheoro||991||69.20||-1.28|
|Independent||Te Puke Te Ao||356||25.21|
|Independent||Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui||284||20.11|
|Independent||Wiremu Te Wheoro||155||10.98|
|Independent||Wetere Te Rerenga||141||9.99|
|Independent||Wiremu Te Wheoro||519||23.38||+12.40|
|Independent||Wiremu Te Wheoro||1,067||33.87||+10.49|
|Independent||Takarangi Mete Kingi||41||1.30|
|Kipa Te Whatanui|
|Te Kahui Kararahe|
|Tatana Te Whataupoko|
|Liberal||Ropata Te Ao||817||42.64|
|Te Wirihana Hunia||365||19.05|
|Liberal||Ropata Te Ao||874||14.54||-28.10|
|Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui||854||14.20|
|Te Aohau Nikitini||431||7.17|
|Te Remana Nutana||158||2.63|
|Te Wirihana Hunia||37||0.62||-18.43|
|Tureiti Te Heuheu Tukino V||873||17.13|
|Te Aohau Nikitini||581||11.40||+4.23|
|Takarangi Mete Kingi||173||3.39|
|Tureiti Te Heuheu Tukino V||840||13.41||-3.73|
|Eruera te Kahu||673||10.74|
|Te One Teehi||399||6.37|
|Te Weraro Kingi||76||1.21|
|Independent||Tureiti Te Heuheu Tukino V||1,338||22.17||+8.76|
|Liberal||Eruera te Kahu||991||16.42|
|Independent||Te Weraro Kingi||162||2.68||+1.47|
|Tureiti Te Heuheu Tukino V||1,375||18.90||-3.27|
|Hema Te Ao||1,178||16.19|
|Eruera te Kahu||728||10.01||-6.41|
|Liberal||Hema Ropata te Ao||1,309||19.27|
|Independent||Hori Tiro Paora||166||2.44|
|Reform||Taite Te Tomo||3,921||53.29|
|Independent||Pei Te Hurinui Jones||336||4.57|
|Reform||Taite Te Tomo||4,172||53.54|
|Hane Henare Piahana||103||1.32|
|United||Timi Takirihi (James Douglas)||95||1.22|
|National||Pei Te Hurinui Jones||2,908||33.20|
|Independent||Takumaru Roetana Tupaea||371||4.24|
|Independent||Rehe Parene Rewi Maniapoto Amohanga||111||1.27|
|Independent Labour||Kaponga Erueti||93||1.06|
|Independent||Reha Kau Hou||41||0.47|
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