Nanaia Mahuta becomes New Zealand’s first Indigenous woman foreign minister
Nanaia Mahuta, who is Māori, was appointed yesterday to the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs, the nation’s first Indigenous woman to hold the position.
Mahuta was first elected to parliament in 1996, and has since held different positions, including her most recent roles as Minister for Māori Development and Minister of Local Government.
In 2016, she took part in a traditional moko ceremony, becoming the first woman in parliament with a Māori chin tattoo.
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen, a political journalist for Māori Television, said the fact that Mahuta wears a moko kauae is hugely empowering and shows that Māori culture has a place at an international level.
“Wearing the markings of her ancestors shows people that there are no boundaries to Māori and where they can go,” she added.