Hon Meka Whaitiri
Ko Meka Whaitiri tōku ingoa.
He uri tēnei nō Ngāti Kahungunu me ngā iwi o Te Tai Rāwhiti.
Ko au te Mema Pāremata mō Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.
Born and raised in Manutuke, Gisborne and educated in Hastings, Meka Whaitiri was Head Girl at Karamu High School, representing the voices of her peers. She also played netball and softball at a national level. After working at the freezing works in Whakatu, Meka then completed a Master’s in Education at Victoria University in Wellington.
Her passion for Māori governance grew from her sound knowledge of how government and Parliament work. Meka was the Deputy Secretary in the Department of Labour, and Senior Adviser to the Minister of Māori Affairs, the Hon Parekura Horomia. She has held pivotal roles in both Rongowhakaata and Ngāti Kahungunu iwi.
Under Jacinda Ardern’s leadership, Meka was the Minister of Customs, Minister for Veterans, Minister for Food Safety, Associate Minister of Agriculture (Animal Welfare) and Associate Minister of Statistics.
Meka's two sons are the backbone of the mahi that she does. Her whānau and supporters have supported her through her journey as a politician. Meka's goal is to support and provide for the people of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.