Georgina te Heuheu

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Dame Georgina te Heuheu

Georgina te Heuheu.jpg
Te Heuheu in 2018
Minister for Courts
In office
19 November 2008 – 12 December 2011
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Preceded byRick Barker
Succeeded byChester Borrows
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
In office
19 November 2008 – 12 December 2011
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Preceded byWinnie Laban
Succeeded byHekia Parata
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party List
In office
Personal details
Georgina Manunui

1943 (age 75–76)
Taurewa, New Zealand
Political partyNational Party
Spouse(s)Timi te Heuheu (d. 2012)
RelationsTumu te Heuheu (brother-in-law)
Hepi Te Heuheu (father-in-law)
Alma materVictoria University of Wellington

Dame Georgina Manunui te Heuheu DNZM QSO (née Manunui, born 1943) is a New Zealand Māori politician. She was a Member of Parliament (MP) from the New Zealand National Party List, and a Cabinet Minister in the New Zealand Government.

Early life[edit]

Born Georgina Manunui in 1943, she is the daughter of George Manunui of Waitahanui. She is a member of the Ngāti Tuwharetoa tribe of the central North Island and is also related to Te Arawa and Tuhoe tribes. She was born and raised at Taurewa, near Mount Tongariro, and received her secondary schooling at Turakina Maori Girls' College (1956–59) and Auckland Girls' Grammar School (1960–61). She graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BA in English and an LLB, being the first Māori woman to gain a law degree and be admitted to the High Court as barrister and solicitor.[1]

Professional life[edit]

Before being elected to Parliament, te Heuheu practised law in Wellington and Rotorua. She was a member of the Waitangi Tribunal (1986–96).[2]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
1996–1999 45th List 7 National
1999–2002 46th List 6 National
2002–2005 47th List 6 National
2005–2008 48th List 19 National
2008–2011 49th List 17 National

Georgina te Heuheu was first elected to Parliament in 1996.[3]

She was the Minister for Courts and for Women's Affairs (1998–1999) during the Fourth National Party Government.[4]

Speculation about her future arose in 2004 after she criticised a speech by leader Don Brash. Questioned some weeks later, she refused to rule out the possibility that she might switch allegiance to the new Māori Party, which had formed after the resignation of Tariana Turia.

However she remained with National for the 2005 election and served as a backbencher for the party, serving as a Spokeswoman for Broadcasting, Associate Spokeswoman for Defence, Treaty of Waitangi Issues and Maori Affairs (Maori Development).

From 19 November 2008 until the 2011 election she was the Minister for Courts, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, and Associate Minister of Maori Affairs in the National Party Government led by John Key. Te Heuheu announced she would retire at the 2011 election.[5]

Life after Parliament[edit]

Te Heuheu was appointed Chairwoman of Maori Television in 2012 and now also sits on several Maori Trust Boards and Charity Committees including the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board.[6] In her capacity as Chairwoman she has been leading a review of Maori Television services and its operational structure to see whether better outcomes can be achieved for the Station.[7]

Private life[edit]

She married Timoti ("Timi") te Heuheu, brother of Sir Tumu te Heuheu, a Ngāti Tuwharetoa leader and son of Sir Hepi Te Heuheu. He died in 2012.[8] They had two sons.[4]


Te Heuheu was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for public services in the 1993 Queen's Birthday Honours.[9] In the 2018 New Year Honours, she was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the State and Māori.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hon Georgina te Heuheu QSO". New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 21 May 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ "Hon Georgina te Heuheu QSO - Biography". National Party. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Women in parliament 1933 - 2005". Elections New Zealand. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b "Hon Georgina te Heuheu". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  5. ^ "Georgina te Heuheu to retire". 10 May 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Georgina te Heuheu". Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Maori TV confirms review of operations". 9 July 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Maori statesman Timoti te HeuHeu dies of cancer". 12 July 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  9. ^ "No. 53334". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 1993. p. 38.
  10. ^ "New Year honours list 2018". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 30 December 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.

External links[edit]