Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri credits her upbringing in the small Gisborne village of Manutuke for many of her best life lessons.

In this Local Focus video Whaitiri outlines her background and experience that has led her to becoming the Labour MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.

The former head girl of Karamu High School has clear aspirations for her electorate.

"I want our young people to be thriving. I want there to be less Māori unemployed, I want to see less Māori in prisons, I want to see more Māori businesses operating across my electorate and I want to see more Māori own their own homes."


Answering some less-serious questions she embraces all main social media platforms and is clearly a fan of Downton Abbey.

The Māori electorate of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti covers the eastern part of the North Island, including some Wellington suburbs.

In the 2017 election Whaitiri won 54 per cent of the electorate vote, with Labour winning 65 per cent of the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti party vote.

Whaitiri was elected in a 2013 by-election and has indicated that if elected this will be her last term.

Made with funding from