Hekia Parata - Former Minister of Education of New Zealand
Hekia Parata is the former Minister of Education for New Zealand, the Education Review Office and Qualifications Authority. While a Member of Parliament, 2008-2017, she was also Minister for Women, Pacific Island Affairs, Ethnic Affairs, Community and Voluntary sectors, Accident Compensation Commission, Energy and Resources.
Prior to Parliament Ms Parata led public policy in government departments, and served at the New Zealand Embassy, Washington, DC.
Ms Parata is inaugural Chair of the Ta Harawira Gardiner Centre for the Child, at the indigenous university, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.
As Special Advisor to her tribal group, Ngati Porou, Ms Parata is leading a culture and identity project to reconnect tribal members to their lands and traditional knoweldge, and revive ancestral trails that will form a continuous great walk around the East Cape of the North Island of New Zealand.