Patricia Hekia Parata

Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu

Patricia Hekia Parata was raised in Ruatoria and was educated at Manutahi Primary School, Ngata Memorial College and Gisborne Girls High School. She graduated B.A. and M.A. in Māori from Waikato University before joining Foreign Affairs where she worked for four years. This included a two-year posting to the New Zealand Embassy in Washington. Hekia has worked for the Ministry for the Environment and the Prime Minister advisory group. She was General Manager of the Housing Corporation and General Manager in the area of policy at Te Puni Kokiri. After her marriage to Wira Gardiner, Hekia began working as a managerial consultant working with government contracts and has worked for the consultancy firm Arthur Andersen as a manager. Hekia became a Member of Parliament after the 2008 elections and is currently Minister of Women’s Affairs, Minister for Ethnic Affairs, the Acting Minister of Energy and Resources, and Associate Minister for ACC and for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

Biographical sources

  • "Hekia Parata." Māori Sovereignty: The Māori Perspective. Hineani Melbourne. Auckland, N.Z.: Hodder Moa Beckett, 1995. 37-38.
  • "Hon Hekia Parata."


  • "Professional Policy Development - Taking Responsiveness To The Needs Of Māori Out Of The Charitable Causes Category." June 1993. No details.
  • "Mainstreaming: A Māori Affairs Policy?" Social Policy Journal of New Zealand 3 (Dec. 1994): 40-51.
  • A comprehensive critique of the Māori affairs policy of the Public Service and the Public Service’s performance of its obligations to its Māori clientele. Parata maintains that the Public Service has demonstrated a clear lack of vision, lack of accountability, and ‘long-term professional negligence’ towards the Māori and one of the underlying problems is their inability to see and accept ‘the intrinsic differences between Māori and Pakeha’. Parata lists some observations of why Civil Service Departments have performed so poorly in providing for Māori needs. She concludes by providing the English text of the Treaty of Waitangi and the literal English translation of the Māori version.
  • "Hekia Parata." Māori Sovereignty: The Māori Perspective. Hineani Melbourne. Auckland, N.Z.: Hodder Moa Beckett, 1995. 37-44.
  • In this discussion with Hineani Melbourne, Parata states that she sees Māori sovereignty expressed within the context of iwi constitutional entities rather than as "Māori". She is committed to the restoration of iwi decision making. Parata contends that Tino Rangātiratanga is not restricted solely to territorial sovereignty but also to cultural and political sovereignty. She advocates a Māori caucus in parliament regardless of the respective party allegiance of the individual Māori MPs
  • Treaty Of Waitangi Issues: The Last Decade And The Next Century [Wellington, N.Z.]: New Zealand Law Society, [1997].
  • Co-authored with Justice Baragwanath and Joe Williams.
  • Theses

  • "Te kiri ka tokia e te anu: ko etahi ahuatanga ki nga kainga o Hiruharama me Te Horo." M.A. Diss. U of Waikato, 1983.
  • Māori funeral customs and rites, death.


  • "Taking Sides." Te Karaka 50 (2011): 18-19.