Te Ururoa James William Ben Flavell[1] (born 7 December 1955), also known as Hemi Flavell,[2] is a New Zealand politician who was a co-leader of the Māori Party from 2013 until 2018[3] and represented the Waiariki electorate for the party in Parliament from 2005–2017.[4]

Te Ururoa Flavell
Te Ururoa Flavell in 2017
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Waiariki
In office
17 September 2005 – 23 September 2017
Preceded byMita Ririnui
Succeeded byTāmati Coffey
43rd Minister of Māori Development
In office
8 October 2014 (2014-10-08) – 21 October 2017
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Bill English
Preceded byPita Sharples
Succeeded byNanaia Mahuta
2nd Minister for Whānau Ora
In office
8 October 2014 – 21 October 2017
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Bill English
Preceded byTariana Turia
Succeeded byPeeni Henare
Co-leader of the Māori Party
In office
2013 – July 2018
Co-leading with Marama Fox
Preceded byPita Sharples
Succeeded byJohn Tamihere
Personal details
Born (1955-12-07) 7 December 1955 (age 68)
Tokoroa, New Zealand
Political partyMāori Party

Ancestry and early life


Flavell, born in Tokoroa, has affiliations to the Ngāpuhi, Ngati Rangiwewehi, and Te Arawa iwi.[5] His grandmother was the weaver Ranginui Parewahawaha Leonard.[6]

He trained as a teacher, and taught at the secondary and tertiary level for many years. He completed a Master of Arts degree at the University of Waikato in 1986.[7] He later held a number of roles in the education sector, including school principal, and then worked as a consultant to various government agencies.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2005–2008 48th Waiariki 10 Māori Party
2008–2011 49th Waiariki 4 Māori Party
2011–2014 50th Waiariki 9 Māori Party
2014–2017 51st Waiariki 1 Māori Party

In the 2005 general election, Flavell stood as a candidate for the Māori Party in the Waiariki electorate and as 10th on the party list. He won the election against the incumbent, Mita Ririnui, and entered Parliament.[8]

The Waiariki electorate was contested by two contenders in the 2008 election: the incumbent and Ririnui. Flavell was once again confirmed.[9]

The Waiariki electorate was contested by three contenders in the 2011 election: Flavell, Annette Sykes of the Mana Party and Louis Te Kani of the Labour Party. Flavell was returned to Parliament for the third successive time.[10]

In the 48th New Zealand Parliament, his primary Māori Party portfolios were Education and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations. He also held a number of minor portfolios including Tourism, Local Government, Internal Affairs, Sport and Recreation, Land Information and Education Review Office. He was a member and Deputy Chairperson of the Education and Science Select Committee as well as being a current member on the Business Select Committee, Whips Select Committee and Standing Orders Committee.

In July 2007 Flavell's Public Works (Offer Back of and Compensation for Acquired Land) Amendment Bill was drawn from the member's ballot.[11] It passed its first reading and was sent to select committee in early 2009, but was defeated at its second reading in July 2010.[12]

In May 2010 Flavell's Local Electoral (Māori Representation) Amendment Bill was drawn from the member's ballot.[13] It was defeated at its first reading in June.[14]

In September 2010 his Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill was drawn from the member's ballot.[15] It was passed in 2013.[16]

With the resignation as party co-leader of Pita Sharples in July 2013, Flavell was elected as co-leader of the Māori Party.[3] During the 2014 election, Flavell was re-elected in the Waiariki electorate.[17] The Māori Party also won two seats in the House of Representatives with Flavell serving alongside Marama Fox as co-leaders.[18][19] Between October 2014 and October 2017, Flavell served as the Minister for Māori Development.[20]

During the 2017 election, Flavell lost his seat to Labour candidate Tāmati Coffey.[21] Fellow co-leader Fox also lost her seat, causing the Māori Party to lose its representation in Parliament. Following the party's defeat, Flavell announced his resignation from politics. Fox credited Flavell with successfully lobbying the New Zealand government into recognizing the New Zealand Wars, pardoning Rua Kenana, and ratifying the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.[22][23]

Attitude towards Treaty settlement


Speaking in Māori only at the first reading of the Ngāti Mutunga Treaty Settlement Bill in 2006, Flavell referred to the Crown as thieves. He said that the thieves who had stolen the land had not returned its full value to the iwi and despite it being a legal full and final settlement invited the tribe to return to Parliament in the future to see if the loaf had got bigger. The tribe was returned $14.9 million and 10 areas of significant land to their 2000 members in addition to the various historical payments and the previous return of 24,000 acres.[24]


  1. ^ "New Zealand Hansard – Members Sworn Volume:651;Page:2". New Zealand Parliament.
  2. ^ "University studies without leaving home". witt.ac.nz. 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Te Ururoa Flavell named Maori Party co-leader". TVNZ.co.nz. ONE News. 13 July 2013. Archived from the original on 24 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014. Te Ururoa Flavell has been elected as the co-leader for the Maori Party, while Naida Glavish has been named as the Maori Party president.
  4. ^ "Te Ururoa Flavell: Member for Waiariki, Maori Party". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Flavell, Te Ururoa (Hon), 1955–". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  6. ^ Husband, Dale (21 October 2014). "Te Ururoa Flavell: Yes Minister". E-Tangata. Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  7. ^ Flavell, J. W. B. (1986). Na Tarimo i whakaari... Ko Rangiwewehi te iwi (Master of Arts thesis). Research Commons, University of Waikato.
  8. ^ "Official Count Results – Waiariki". Chief Electoral Office, Wellington. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  9. ^ "Official Count Results – Waiariki". Chief Electoral Office, Wellington. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Election Results – Waiariki". Chief Electoral Office, Wellington. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Public Works (Offer Back of and Compensation for Acquired Land) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  12. ^ "Maori land bill fails to advance". TVNZ. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Local Electoral (Māori Representation) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  14. ^ "Maori seats on councils bill defeated in Parliament". Three News. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  15. ^ "Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  16. ^ "Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Official Count Results -- Waiariki". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Official Count Results - Overall Status". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  19. ^ Laing, Doug (20 September 2014). "Meka Whaitiri wins Ikaroa-Rawhiti". Hawke's Bay Today. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Hon Te Ururoa Flavell". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Waiariki - Official Result". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  22. ^ Bracewall-Worrall, Anna; Robinson, Amanda; Lynch, Jenna (24 September 2017). "Emotions overwhelm Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox in wake of loss". Newshub. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  23. ^ Cooke, Henry (26 October 2017). "Te Ururoa Flavell's fight to keep the Māori Party alive". Stuff. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  24. ^ "Ngāti Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill: First Reading: 27 Jul 2006". theyworkforyou.co.nz. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Waiariki
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Māori Development
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Whānau Ora
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Co-leader of the Māori Party
Served alongside: Tariana Turia, Marama Fox
Title next held by
John Tamihere