Willie Jackson (politician)

Last updated

Willie Jackson

Willie Jackson.jpg
Minister of Employment
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour Party List
Assumed office
23 September 2017
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Party List
In office
27 November 1999 22 July 2002
Personal details
Born1961 (age 5758)
NationalityFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Political party Labour Party (from 2017)
Alliance (1999–2002)
Moana Maniapoto
(div. 2001)
Relatives Syd Jackson (uncle)
Moana Jackson (uncle)
Everard Jackson (grandfather)
Fred Jackson (great-grandfather)

William Wakatere Jackson [1] (born 1961) is a New Zealand politician and former top Maori broadcaster and Urban Maori chief executive. He was an Alliance MP from 1999 to 2002, and in 2017 was elected as a Labour MP. [2]

The Alliance was a left-wing political party in New Zealand. It was formed at the end of 1991 by the linking of four smaller parties. The Alliance positioned itself as a democratic socialist alternative to the centre-left New Zealand Labour Party. It was influential throughout the 1990s, but suffered a major setback after its founder and leader, Jim Anderton, left the party in 2002, taking with him several of its members of parliament (MPs). After the remaining MPs lost their seats in the 2002 general election, some commentators predicted the demise of the party.


Early life

Jackson was born in 1961, and grew up in Porirua and Mangere. In his teenage years Jackson attended Mangere College. He has worked in a number of jobs, including trade union organiser, record company executive, broadcaster, talkback radio host and urban Māori advocate. He was also the manager for the ground-breaking band 'Moana and the Moahunters' throughout the 1980s and '90s. [ citation needed ]

Porirua city in New Zealand

Porirua, a city in the Wellington Region of the North Island of New Zealand, is one of the four cities that constitute the Wellington metropolitan area. It almost completely surrounds Porirua Harbour at the southern end of the Kapiti Coast. As of June 2018 Porirua had a population of 56,700.

Mangere Suburb in Auckland Council, New Zealand

Mangere, is one of the largest suburbs in Auckland, in northern New Zealand. It is located on mainly flat land on the northeastern shore of the Manukau Harbour, to the northwest of Manukau City Centre and 15 kilometres south of the Auckland city centre. It is the location of Auckland Airport, which lies close to the harbour's edge to the south of the suburb.

Talk radio is a radio format containing discussion about topical issues and consisting entirely or almost entirely of original spoken word content rather than outside music. Most shows are regularly hosted by a single individual, and often feature interviews with a number of different guests. Talk radio typically includes an element of listener participation, usually by broadcasting live conversations between the host and listeners who "call in" to the show. Listener contributions are usually screened by a show's producers in order to maximize audience interest and, in the case of commercial talk radio, to attract advertisers. Generally, the shows are organized into segments, each separated by a pause for advertisements; however, in public or non-commercial radio, music is sometimes played in place of commercials to separate the program segments. Variations of talk radio include conservative talk, hot talk, liberal talk and sports talk.

Political life

New Zealand Parliament
1999 2002 46th List9 Alliance
2017 present 52nd List22 Labour

In 1995, Jackson joined the Mana Motuhake party, a Māori party which formed part of the Alliance. In the 1996 election, he stood unsuccessfully for Parliament. In the 1999 election, however, he was elected as an Alliance list MP. In 2001, Jackson successfully challenged Mana Motuhake leader Sandra Lee for the leadership of the 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 canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, and distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced; later, a prominent warrior culture emerged.

1996 New Zealand general election

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.

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 National Party government, and the beginning of the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand which would govern for 9 years, until its loss to the National Party in the 2008 general election.

Jackson served as the leader of the Mana Motuhake party from 2001 to 2004 when most of the party's membership then became part of the Māori party and Mana Motuhake disestablished.[ citation needed ]

When the Alliance began to collapse in 2002, Jackson sided with the faction led by Laila Harré and Matt McCarten, and remained with the party when Jim Anderton established his breakaway group. In the 2002 election, Jackson became Deputy Leader of the Alliance under Harré's leadership, but the Alliance failed to win any seats.[ citation needed ]

Laila Harré New Zealand politician

Laila Jane Harré is a New Zealand politician and trade unionist. She was the first leader of the Internet Party, and stood for Parliament in the 2014 general election through the Helensville electorate. From 1996 to 2002, she was a Member of Parliament for the Alliance party, briefly leading that party after the group experienced a schism in 2002.

Matt McCarten New Zealand politician

Matthew "Matt" McCarten is a New Zealand political organiser, of Ngāpuhi descent. He has been involved with several leftist or centre-left political parties, and is also active in the trade-union movement. He wrote a weekly column for the Herald on Sunday from 2010 until 2014.

Jim Anderton New Zealand politician

James Patrick Anderton was a New Zealand politician who led a succession of left-wing parties after leaving the Labour Party in 1989.

Life between politics

Shortly after the 2002 election, Mana Motuhake left the Alliance and Jackson worked on setting up a new pan-tribal independent Māori party. He then supported Tariana Turia when she quit the Labour Party and founded the new Māori Party where Jackson and McCarten played supporting roles. He currently works as a community Chief Executive with the Manukau Urban Māori Authority. He is also a broadcaster and a political commentator.[ citation needed ]

Tariana Turia New Zealand politician

Dame Tariana Turia is a New Zealand politician. She gained considerable prominence during the foreshore and seabed controversy, and eventually broke with her party as a result. She resigned from parliament, and successfully contested a by-election in her former electorate as a candidate of the newly formed Māori Party. She retired from Parliament in 2014.

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Māori Party New Zealand political party promoting indigenous rights

The Māori Party is an indigenous rights-based political party in New Zealand, formed on 7 July 2004. Tariana Turia founded the party after resigning from the Labour Party, where she had been a minister in the Fifth Labour Government. She and Pita Sharples, a high-profile academic, became co-leaders. Since the 2008 election, the party supported a National Party-led government, and Turia and Sharples became ministers outside cabinet.

Despite the controversy that arose out of the Roast Busters scandal, Jackson and Tamihere won the prestigious North Island Whānau Ora contract in 2014 with their National Urban Māori Authority. It is the biggest independent contract that has been allocated to Māori (over $14 million per annum). Their work in the communities of South Auckland and West Auckland with Māori was seen as the primary reason for them winning the contract according to Whānau Ora Minister, Tariana Turia.[ citation needed ]

Politically, Jackson is seen as someone who supports and advises Māori candidates right across the political spectrum. He has been a vocal supporter of Tariana Turia (from the Māori Party), Pita Sharples (from the Māori Party), Rangi McLean (from the Māori Party), Claudette Hauiti (from the National Party), Winston Peters (from New Zealand First), and is viewed as one of Hone Harawira's (from the Mana Party) closest supporters.[ citation needed ]

Return to Parliament

In 2017, Jackson returned to politics. He stood down from his high profile talkback show on Radio Live where he had been host for 10 years and stood down from his political commentary role on TVNZ's Marae television series. The-then Opposition leader Andrew Little convinced Jackson to stand for the New Zealand Labour Party during the 2017 election. [4] [5] Jackson was ranked 21 on Labour's party list and also served as the party's Māori Campaign Director. [6] [7]

During the 2017 election, Jackson was successfully elected as a Labour Party list candidate. [8] Following the election, Jackson resigned from his position as chief executive of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority, chairman of Te Whakaruruhau o Nga Reo Irirangi Māori, the Māori radio network and chairman of the National Urban Maori Authority. [9] Following post-election negotiations between Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens which led to the formation of a coalition government, Jackson was appointed by Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern as the Minister of Employment and Associate Minister for Māori Development following Labour's formation of a government with New Zealand First and the Greens. [10] [11]

Notable relatives

Willie Jackson is the son of Bob Jackson and Dame June Jackson, one of New Zealand's longest serving parole board members. [12] His uncles are activist Syd Jackson [13] and lawyer Moana Jackson. His grandfather is All Black Everard Jackson.[ citation needed ] Jackson's ex-wife is singer Moana Maniapoto.

Related Research Articles

Sandra Lee-Vercoe New Zealand politician

Sandra Rose Te Hakamatua Lee-Vercoe is a former New Zealand politician and diplomat. She served as deputy leader of the Alliance party and was later High Commissioner to Niue.

The New Zealand foreshore and seabed controversy is a debate in the politics of New Zealand. It concerns the ownership of the country's foreshore and seabed, with many Māori groups claiming that Māori have a rightful claim to title. These claims are based around historical possession and the Treaty of Waitangi. On 18 November 2004, the New Zealand Parliament passed a law which deems the title to be held by the Crown. This law, the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, was enacted on 24 November 2004. Some sections of the Act came into force on 17 January 2005. It was repealed and replaced by the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011.

2004 Te Tai Hauauru by-election New Zealand by-election

The Te Tai Hauauru by-election was a by-election in the New Zealand electorate of Te Tai Hauāuru, one of the Māori seats. The date set for the by-election was 10 July 2004. It saw the re-election of Tariana Turia, a former MP for the Labour Party and now co-leader of the Māori Party.

1993 New Zealand general election

The 1993 New Zealand general election was held on 6 November 1993 to determine the composition of the 44th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the governing National Party, led by Jim Bolger, win a second term in office, despite a major swing away from National in both seats and votes. The opposition Labour Party, despite a slight drop in their support, managed to make gains in terms of seats. The new Alliance and New Zealand First parties gained significant shares of the vote, but won few seats. The election was New Zealand's last under the non-proportional first past the post electoral system.

John Henry Tamihere is a New Zealand former politician, media personality, and political commentator. He was member of Parliament from 1999 to 2005. He served as a Cabinet minister in the Labour Party from August 2002 to 3 November 2004. He was intending to stand again for Parliament in the 2014 election, but decided not to. In January 2019, he announced his intention to stand for Auckland mayor in the 2019 election.

47th New Zealand Parliament

The 47th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand. Its composition was determined by the 2002 election, and it sat until 11 August 2005.

Pita Sharples New Zealand politician

Sir Pita Russell Sharples is a New Zealand Māori academic and politician, who was a co-leader of the Māori Party from 2004 to 2013, and a minister outside Cabinet in the National Party-led government from 2008 to 2014. He was the member of Parliament for the Tāmaki Makaurau electorate in Auckland from 2005 to 2014. He stepped down as co-leader role of the Māori Party in July 2013.

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.

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. Modern Māori politics can be seen as a subset of New Zealand politics in general, but has a number of distinguishing features.

Mana Motuhake

Mana Māori Motuhake was a Māori political party in New Zealand from 1980 to 2005. The name is difficult to translate accurately, but essentially refers to Māori self-rule and self-determination — mana, in this context, can be understood as "authority" or "power", while motuhake can be understood as "independent" or "separate".

Te Māngai Pāho is the New Zealand Crown entity responsible for the promotion of the Māori language and Māori culture by providing funding for Māori-language programming on radio, and television.

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 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.

2011 Te Tai Tokerau by-election New Zealand by-election

The 2011 Te Tai Tokerau by-election was a by-election in the New Zealand electorate of Te Tai Tokerau that was caused by Hone Harawira's resignation from the seat. He chose to re-contest it with the Mana Party in order to seek a new mandate for his views. After generating several days of media interest and criticism Harawira announced on 4 May 2011 that he was delaying his resignation in order to consult his supporters in his electorate. On 11 May 2011 Harawira wrote to the Speaker of the House to resign from Parliament, with effect from 20 May 2011. On 12 May 2011 the Prime Minister John Key announced that the by-election would be held on 25 June.

Adrian Rurawhe New Zealand politician

Adrian Paki Rurawhe is a New Zealand politician of Ngāti Apa descent and a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives (MP). He was first elected at the 2014 general election as a representative of the Labour Party for Te Tai Hauāuru and was re-elected in 2017.

Ruahine Albert Anti domestic-violence activist

Ruahine "Roni" Albert is New Zealand anti-domestic violence activist of Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Tainui descent.

2001 Mana Motuhake leadership election

The Mana Motuhake leadership election, 2001 was held in New Zealand on 2 June 2001 to determine the future leadership of the Mana Motuhake political movement. The election was won by List MP Willie Jackson.


  1. "Daily progress for Tuesday, 7 November 2017". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  2. "Advocating Willie Jackson". www.times.co.nz. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
  3. "Willie & JT on RadioLIVE". MediaWorks. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  4. Moir, Jo (2 May 2017). "Willie Jackson's role in the Labour Party is still a bone of contention". Stuff.co.nz . Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  5. Forbes, Mihingarangi (5 February 2017). "Willie Jackson to stand for Labour". Radio New Zealand . Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  6. "Willie Jackson appointed as Labour's Māori Campaign Director". New Zealand Labour Party. Scoop. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  7. Jones, Nicholas (2 May 2017). "Willie Jackson fails to lift ranking on Labour's list". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  8. "2017 General Election – Official Result Successful Candidates". Electoral Commission . Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  9. "Tribute to former chair Willie Jackson". Te Whakaruruhau o Nga Reo Irirangi Māori. Scoop. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  10. "Who's in? Who's out?". Radio NZ. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  11. "Ministerial List". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet . Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  12. Tahana, Yvonne (7 June 2010). "Straight-talking Dame recalls humble origins". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  13. "'True warrior' Jackson dies". The Dominion Post . 4 September 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2016.