HON NANAIA MAHUTA
Minister for Māori Development
Minister of Local Government
Associate Minister for the Environment
Associate Minister for Housing and urban Development (Maori)
Tēnā Koutou. As the Labour constituent MP for the Hauraki-Waikato seat my political journey began in the community and my tribal peoples of Waikato-Maniapoto.
These ‘flax-root’ origins keep me connected to the aspirations of people who want to improve their lives through quality education, a fair and decent society, social justice values that embrace Māori self-determination.
I live in the small town of Ngaruawahia with my two young children and husband. We spend much of our time connected to the social fabric that strengthens the life of our community. That means a lot of service and volunteering for the things we believe in.
During my 22 years of parliamentary service I have committed my effort to advance community and youth development, the interests of women’s refuge, tribal development initiatives, education and social wellbeing. As an MP the role has enabled me to contribute to the collective aspirations of Maori and all New Zealanders. I am excited to have responsibility for air quality, indigenous biodiversity and urban water in my Associate Environment portfolio and develop and explore the synergies and links between these and my Māori Development, local government and housing and urban development responsibilities.
The Hon Nanaia Mahuta will provide an update on her work on indigenous biodiversity, urban water, air quality, and related Government initiatives. She will also share her thoughts on the opportunities for planners to better integrate iwi and community values and voices into the design of cities and towns in New Zealand.
This includes, for example, using the Te Mana o Te wai framework to guide decisions around urban development and infrastructure investment, and ensuring that the indigenous biodiversity that underpins our unique ecosystems are effectively recognised and protected within the planning system.