Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Henare was born and educated in Auckland. Before entering politics, he held a number of governmental and consultancy positions, including advisory roles at the Department of Internal Affairs and with the Waitakere City Council. His family has a certain amount of political activity in its history, with Henare's great grandfather, Taurekareka (Tau) Henare, having served in Parliament alongside famous Maori politicians such as Apirana Ngata, James Carroll , and Maui Pomare . Henare's own involvement with Maori politics first came with Mana Motuhake, a purely Maori party, but when Winston Peters (himself half Maori) established the New Zealand First party, Henare changed the focus of his activities.
Henare was first elected to Parliament in the 1993 elections as the New Zealand First candidate for the Northern Maori electorate. He defeated Bruce Gregory , the incumbent Labour Party, a surprising result given Labour's traditional dominance in the Maori seats. He was only New Zealand First's second MP, the first being Winston Peters himself. As such, Henare became New Zealand First's deputy leader.
In the 1996 elections, conducted under the new MMP electoral system, New Zealand First gained fifteen further MPs, and also made a clean sweep of the Maori seats. Henare was re-elected (although his seat was renamed Te Tai Tokerau), and remained deputy leader of the party. When New Zealand First went into coalition with the governing National Party, Henare was appointed to Cabinet. His most prominent ministerial role was that of Minister of Maori Affairs .
In August 1998, however, the coalition between National and New Zealand First was becoming unstable, and internal tensions arose within New Zealand First itself. When the coalition finally collapsed, a group of New Zealand First MPs left the party and offered their support to National, allowing the government to keep a slight majority. It later emerged that before departing, Henare had mounted an unsuccessful challenge to Winston Peters' leadership. Henare established himself as an independent. Later, he banded together with four other MPs who had departed New Zealand First, and established the Mauri Pacific party. Henare became the new party's leader.
In the 1999 elections, Henare was ranked first on Mauri Pacific's list, and contested the Te Tai Tokerau seat again. He was, however, unsuccessful, and left Parliament along with all his party colleagues. In the 2002 elections, after Mauri Pacific's dissolution, he stood as a candidate for the National Party. He contested the Te Atatu electorate, and was ranked thirty-fifth on National's list. On election day, he was defeated in Te Atatu and National did not win enough seats for him to return to Parliament. He will also contest the 2005 elections as a National candidate.
Henare currently works as a talkback host at the NewsTalkZB radio station.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details