It seems politics is in the blood for the Whaitiri family, with MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri's younger brother, Jason, standing for the Hastings District Council.

So it's only natural that he is standing as a candidate for the Heretaunga ward, something he sees as an inevitable progression.

"I see benefits of interacting and networking with local iwi, businesses, councils and communities around education, environment, employment, safer communities, and healthy homes."

Born in Manutuke, Gisborne, Mr Whaitiri moved to Kohupatiki with his family when he was 3 years old, before settling in Whakatū.


The 49-year-old has spent more than 40 years of his life in Whakatū and raised his three children there.

A true family man, he says his biggest achievement to date is "marrying my beautiful wife [Shirlene ], having our children and belonging to a large supportive whānau, known throughout the district".

The Silver Fern Farms worker is an active member of the community, particularly in his home town and out in Clive where he is a board of trustees member at Clive School.

Mr Whaitiri stands for "growing communities" and sees massive economic potential right across the Heretaunga ward with the thriving hub of Clive and the industrial area of Whakatū.

Coming from a sporting background, he's played premier rugby for Clive and has competed regularly in endurance triathlon event IronMāori since it first began.

Mr Whaitiri is also chairman of KiwiCove OSCAR Ltd, a volunteer at Cape Coast Community Patrol, referee of the Hawke's Bay Rugby Referee Association and member of the Emergency Response Team for Silver Fern Farms Beef Ltd Pacific.