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.

Between 1996 and 2011 the seat was held by three others of whom only one was Ngāi Tahu.

The National Party, New Zealand First, Act and United Future do not put forward contenders leaving only four political parties who put a candidate forward at the last election.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *