Peeni Henare plans to follow his great-grandfather Taurekareka Henare (1878-1940) into Parliament.

Mr Henare was selected at the weekend as the Labour candidate for Tamaki Makaurau, now held by Maori Party co-leader and Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples, who will not seek re-election in September.

Mr Henare is Labour's second choice for the candidacy.

He was selected after broadcaster Shane Taurima's nomination was blocked following an investigation into misuse of TVNZ resources for political purposes.


Mr Henare, 34, is the son of Maori Language Commissioner Erima Henare, and grandson of the late Sir James Henare, who rose from the rank of private to commanding officer of the Maori Battalion during World War II.

Sir James contested the Northern Maori seat for National after sitting member TP Paikea, died in 1963, but lost by 454 votes to Labour's Matiu Rata.

Taurekareka Henare was a Reform Party MP for Northern Maori from 1914-38.

Peeni Henare works as a business advisor for the Ministry of Social Development but is withdrawing from ministry contracts while he campaigns for the election.

He is chairman of the Ruapekapeka Pa Trust and a member of the Ngati Hine Forestry Trust and other Maori trusts.

Mr Henare lives at Moerewa with his wife, Maia, who is a teacher, and their four children.

He said he had grown up in a family steeped in both Maori and national politics so he was looking forward to the months of campaigning which lay ahead of him.