Hon Willie Jackson (born 1961) is a former urban Māori chief executive and award-winning radio and television broadcaster. He grew up in Porirua and Mangere, and attended Mangere College in his teenage years. Jackson previously worked as a trade union organiser, record company executive, broadcaster, sports talkback radio host and urban Māoriadvocate. Primarily based in Auckland, he has supported the rights of Māori and urban Māori nationally for many years with a focus on community development particularly in South Auckland. He has been at the forefront in terms of advancing community interests, local initiatives and whānau aspirations. Willie has a very long history working within both Māori and mainstream media in print, radio and television including commentating election coverage in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014. He is the son of the late Bob Jackson and Dame June Jackson, New Zealand’s longest serving parole board member, and his wife is Tania Rangiheuea, a former Victoria University lecturer in Māori and Women’s Studies and now a school principal. He is the Minister for Māori Development, and Associate Minister for ACC and of Justice.
Hon Damien O'Connor
Hon Damien O'Connor believes every New Zealander, regardless of their background or family situation, deserves the opportunity to realise their full potential and participate in their community and society. Damien stands for the values of equality and opportunity, and for the responsibility we owe to each other to maintain these values. Damien’s background in farming and adventure tourism drives his view that we need well-paid, sustainable jobs and industry growth to improve our future. He is a passionate advocate for rural communities and for a thriving agricultural sector. Damien was first elected to Parliament in 1993 and has served as a Minister in both the fifth and sixth Labour Governments, and spokesperson in Opposition for a variety of roles, including Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety, Tourism, Immigration and Health. In the 2020 Labour Government, Damien O’Connor was appointed Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister for Land Information, and Minister for Rural Communities. Damien is an active sportsman and represented Buller at athletics. He has won West Coast Young Farmer of the Year and enjoys sports including skiing, white water rafting, jet boating, motorsports and playing rugby for the New Zealand Parliamentary Team.
Dave Samuels - Secretary for Māori Development at Te Puni Kōkiri
Waikato-Tainui, Te Whakatōhea Dave (David) Tokohau Samuels is a seasoned public service leader with strong ties to iwi, hapū and whānau Māori. He is the Secretary for Māori Development. After working in the international arena for the past five years growing trade and market access in New Zealand’s primary industries in the Middle East and Asia, Dave has returned home to lead Te Puni Kōkiri. He has a strong background in policy and economic development including leading the Policy unit at Te Puni Kōkiri from 2005-2012. During his time as the Policy Director, he led successful initiatives to bolster Māori economic and business development and the development of the Māori Economic Strategy and Action Plan “He kai kei aku ringa” which was released in 2012. His career began as an infantry officer in the New Zealand Army. Years later, Dave attained a Master of Philosophy (Humanities and Social Sciences) in Defence and Strategic Studies from Massey University and a Master of Public Administration degree (with Merit) from Victoria University of Wellington.