Te Tai Tonga an introduction
An overview of statistics and facts of Te Tai Tonga the New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorate and its previous elected members of Parliament.
Te Tai Tonga is the biggest electorate in the country comprising all of the South Island, Stewart Island/Rakiura, the Chatham Islands, Wellington and parts of the Hutt Valley as far north as Avalon. The predominant Iwi and tribal area in Te Tai Tonga is Ngāi Tahu.
Te Tai Tonga was held for over 64 years by the same Ngāi Tahu whanau, Tirikatene’s (Labour Party) until 1996 and then again in 2011 to the present.
- Eruera Tirikatene (my great grandfather ) 1932- 1967 when he died.
- Whetu Tirikatene (my great aunty) 1967 to 1996
- Rino Tirikatene (my first cousin) 2011 to present
Between 1996 and 2011 the seat was held by three others of whom only one was Ngāi Tahu.
- Māori Party 2008 to 2011: Rahui Katene (Ngati Koata, Ngati Kuia, Ngati Toa and Ngāi Tahu )
- Labour Party 1999 to 2008: Mahara Okeroa (Te Ati Awa)
- New Zealand First 1996–1999: Tu Wylie (Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Ngāti Ruapani and Rongowhakaata)
According to Parliamentary Library, the top 4 Iwi in Te Tai Tonga are:
- Ngāi Tahu 28,659
- Ngāpuhi 12,141
- Ngāti Porou 10,953
- Ngāti Tūwharetoa 4,296
Te Tai Tonga district is mostly comprised of non religious Māori who account for 46% of the population while Christian represent 42.5%.
Most Māori in Te Tai Tonga are registered on the Māori roll with only about 57% voting. The largest age group are between 20 and 49 with 13.6% of the population being able to speak te reo Māori.
In terms of education the majority of the population have either no qualifications or are not university graduates and 39% earn less then $50,000 per annum.