Do you travel heavy or light?

Normally light. Do I look big in these pants?

Cattle or first class?

Down with the beef.


I can't travel without ...

My Ratana bible and my copy of Bob Marley's Legend.

What type of suitcase do you carry?

It's an old one I pinched from Billy T. James years ago.

What's always in your hand luggage?

A book from Aunty Helen on the do's and don'ts of being an MP, with a foreword by Shane Jones.

Are you a planner or last-minute packer?



What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip?

My wonderful experiences with the different peoples and cultures of the world. As the Maori proverb says: "He aha te mea nui ki te Ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata". What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, people, people.

Favourite or most exciting airport to land in?

Chatham Islands. The only airport in the world where you can ride around on the runway at night hunting wekas with the locals.

Best packing tip?

One I picked up from Black Caps' coach, John "Shakey" Wright: "Throw it in and shake".

Most memorable trip?

Hong Kong. Six Maori testing the seaworthiness of a Chinese rowboat in the middle of Victoria Harbour (while humming a well known Split Enz tune).

What do you do while in the plane?

Pray that the airline has the best engineer in the world (no matter what airline). And if coming home to Wellington, that it's nice and calm.

Rino Tirikatene is Labour's tourism spokesman and MP for Te Tai Tonga.