Rino Tirikatene

Rino Tirikatene

Rino Tirikatene
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Te Tai Tonga
Preceded by Rahui Katene
Personal details
Born 1972/1973 (age 41–42)[1]
Rangiora, New Zealand
Political party Labour Party
Relations Eruera Tirikatene (grandfather)
Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan (aunt)

Rino Tirikatene is a New Zealand politician and a member of the House of Representatives, representing the Te Tai Tonga electorate since the 2011 election. He is a member of the Labour Party. He comes from a family with a strong political history.

Early life

Born in Rangiora, Tirikatene affiliates to the Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Hine iwi.[2] He is the grandson of Sir Eruera Tirikatene and the nephew of Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan. His grandfather and aunt between them held the Southern Maori electorate for 64 years from 1932 and 1996. As such, the name Tirikatene is for many voters synonymous with the Māori electorate that covers the southern part of New Zealand.[3]

Member of Parliament

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2011–2014 50th Te Tai Tonga 45 Labour
2014–present 51st Te Tai Tonga Candidates in the New Zealand general election 2014 by party#Labour Party Labour

Tirikatene stood for Labour in Te Puku O Te Whenua in the 1996 election.[4] His father, Rino Tirikatene senior, was originally selected for the seat but died suddenly on the campaign trail. Tirikatene was asked to replace his father.[1] That year, New Zealand First won all Māori electorates, with Rana Waitai beating Tirikatene and Tu Wyllie defeating Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan.[5]

He was selected to represent Labour in the Te Tai Tonga electorate on 1 December 2010.[6] Te Tai Tonga is one of the seven Māori electorates, covers the South Island plus Wellington[7] and is New Zealand's largest electorate by area.[8] In the New Zealand general election, 2011, Tirikatene was placed at number 45 on the Labour Party list.[9]

He contested the Te Tai Tonga electorate against the incumbent, Rahui Katene of the Māori Party. Labour's selection of Tirikatene was criticised as cynical by Katene, as they are both from the same hapū, but this was rejected by Tirikatene, as "all Maoris connect up somewhere along the line".[7] Tirikatene won the electorate with a margin of 1,475 votes.[10] The electorate had previously been held by Labour, from 1999 until 2005.[11] He is currently the Labour Spokesperson for Tourism.

Tirikatene significantly increased his majority in the 2014 election.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Politics a family affair for Tirikatene".  
  2. ^ "Rino Tirikatene". New Zealand Parliament. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Potiki, Tahu (18 November 2011). "When politics is in the DNA".  
  4. ^ "Another Tirikatene standing for Parliament".  
  5. ^ "Former NZ First MP says party's return counterproductive".  
  6. ^ "Rino Tirikatene wins Labour’s Te Tai Tonga selection". scoop.co.nz. 1 December 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Fensome, Alex (20 October 2011). "Labour candidate eyes Southland". The Southland Times. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Birchfield, Daniel (28 September 2011). "Labour's Tirikatene focuses on the elderly". The Timaru Herald. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Labour Party List 2011" (Press release). New Zealand Labour Party.  
  10. ^ "Official Count Results -- Te Tai Tonga".  
  11. ^ "Maori Party loses Te Tai Tonga".  
  12. ^ "Official Count Results -- Te Tai Tonga".  
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Rahui Katene
Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tonga

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