Adrian Rurawhe always wanted a Te Tai Hauauru electorate office in Whanganui - but left establishing it to his second term because he was here so much anyway.

He was pleased to have the Victoria Ave office officially opened by his colleague, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri, on July 3.

"I was always going to have an office here, and it was always probably going to be my main one," he said.

About 40 people, including many whānau, were there for the opening. Ratana apotoro wairua Andre Meihana was the first speaker.


He pointed to photographs of T W Ratana and Michael Joseph Savage on the office wall, and talked of progress for Māori since Ratana petitioned for the Treaty of Waitangi to be honoured back in the 1920s: the Waitangi Tribunal, kohanga reo and Māori television and radio.

"I want to mihi to all of us who just hold hard and stick to the work," he said.

Whaitiri said she was envious of Rurawhe's flash new office - so convenient to supermarkets and the Ngā Tangata Tiaki office. She said the Labour caucus was proud of the way Rurawhe and Poto Williams worked as assistants to the Speaker of the House, "trying to control all the naughty children".

Rurawhe kept people in order in a very ngāwari (good-natured) way, while also reminding people he was boss.

"It's not an easy job but they do it with grace and style and with maintaining people's mana," she said.

In his own speech Rurawhe acknowledged Steph Lewis, who was the Labour candidate for Whanganui at the last election. She was there with her new baby, Scarlet.

Every day he felt honoured and privileged to represent the people of Te Tai Hauāuru, he said.

"I am your servant."

He also spoke of T W Ratana and Michael Joseph Savage, and their hopes for a great nation joining Māori and Pākehā.

"Those two men have played a significant role in my life, in shaping where I am politically and spiritually. They both acknowledge that we can't do it by ourselves. We need each other, to achieve the aspirations we both have."

Rurawhe's electorate is 36,000sq km, and bigger than Taiwan. He has offices in Tokoroa and now Whanganui, and also gets help from Labour offices in Porirua, New Plymouth and Palmerston North.

His Whanganui office will be open from 9am to 4pm and have three staff. He said MPs rely on their staff.

"This is how it works with a Member of Parliament. I get all the credit. People will thank me, and it's actually my staff who have done it."

Video taken at the opening is below: