The following article was originally published in the August 2000 Nati Link.
One-time Te Aitanga a Hauiti shearer, printer and public service worker has landed a top job in Parliament as the new Maori Affairs Minister. The Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP is the second Ngati Porou to hold this post since Sir Apirana Ngata in 1928 and is ranked 12th in the 20-strong Cabinet.
He received a rousing powhiri from his Ngati Porou iwi at Porourangi Marae, Ruatoria earlier this month. Runanga chairman Api Mahuika says that while Mr Horomia follows in the footsteps of Sir Apirana, who achieved much for Ngati Porou, the times anddynamics within Government and society have markedly changed.
“Parekura will make his own mark. One of the challenges he faces is the need to be responsible to the many needs of iwi which sometimes may mean Ngati Porou will have to wait in line. At other times, Ngati Porou’s needs may be the high priority and he will have to manage this sensitively so as not to raise any grounds for misconception.
“Whatever decisions he makes they have to benefit the whole of Maoridom. Parekura will be saying I am Ngati Porou but I must have everyone’s interests at heart.”