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Tangi Utikere maiden statement

The maiden statement of Tangi Utikere in Parliament, 2 December 2020.

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In the parliamentary recording taken on December 2, 2020, at Parliament buildings in Wellington, Tangi Utikere delivered their maiden statement, expressing gratitude and outlining their vision and goals as the new Member of Parliament for Palmerston North. Utikere began by paying respects to the Speaker, Trevor Mallard, for their election to office, and the iwi from their electorate. Feeling humbled by the trust placed by the constituents of Palmerston North, Utikere recounted an unexpected political journey that started less than eight weeks before the general election, as a result of a well-organized party campaign led by Labour leader and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and a dedicated local team headed by campaign manager Lorna Johnson.

The address highlighted the importance of continuity and service to the electorate previously demonstrated by predecessors — Joe Walding, Trevor de Cleene, Steve Mahari, and Iain Lees-Galloway — all from the Labour Party. Utikere also acknowledged their Cookie Island roots, sharing their grandparent's migration journey to New Zealand, which was filled with hardship and hope for a better future for subsequent generations—themes that underpin their own life and political values.

Utikere talked about the influence of family traditions, including the pivotal role that education played in their upbringing. They credited their parents with instilling values like hard work, integrity, and community service, which they aim to project in their political career.

Their involvement with the Labour Party began 25 years prior, inspired by the party's emphasis on social justice, inclusivity, and kindness. Professional experience as an educator and advocate for community governance shaped their understanding of public service. Their judicial roles included responsibilities as a Justice of the Peace and work with the Judicial Control Authority for New Zealand's racing industry. These positions granted Utikere insights into the challenges faced by the justice system, especially concerning marginalized communities such as Maori, Pacifica, and new migrants.

Utikere's experience as a city councilor and deputy mayor in Palmerston North emphasized public service and engagement with community affairs, supporting the city's vision to achieve big-city ambitions coupled with small-city benefits. They touched upon the importance of local government policy, specifically regarding the provision of Maori wards and infrastructure development, advocating for partnerships that do not compromise community wellbeing.

In their closing remarks, Utikere offered a heartfelt thanks to their partner for their support. They expressed excitement about working with the government to create an inclusive society that realizes the aspirations of people, much like their grandmother, who come to New Zealand with dreams of a better life.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:2nd December 2020
Audio courtesy of:Parliament TV
Location:Parliament buildings, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004716).