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The Honourable Doctor
 Pita Russell Sharples 

Sharples, right, with Tariana Turia, at the launch of the Māori Party that they co-lead

Assumed office 
19 November 2008
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Parekura Horomia

Co-leader of the Māori Party
Assumed office 
7 July 2004
Preceded by Position established

Assumed office 
Preceded by John Tamihere
Majority 2127 (11.11%)

Born July 20, 1941 (1941-07-20) (age 68)
Waipawa, Hawke's Bay
Nationality [[New Zealand]/[British]]
Political party Māori Party
Occupation Professor

Pita Russell Sharples, CBE, (born 20 July 1941), a Māori/English academic and politician, currently co-leads the Māori Party. He currently is the member for Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland City) in New Zealand's Parliament.


Early life

Sharples, of the Ngati Kahungunu iwi, was born in Waipawa, a town in Hawke's Bay.[1] He received his early education at Waipukurau District High School and then at Te Aute College. He then attended the University of Auckland, studying education. After graduating, he remained at the University as an instructor, working as a Professor of Education. He also holds British citizenship due to an English father.[2]

Member of Parliament

Years Term Electorate List Party
2005–2008 48th Tamaki Makaurau 2 Māori
2008–present 49th Tāmaki Makaurau 2 Māori

In addition to his academic work, Sharples has long advocated a separate Māori political party. After the foreshore and seabed controversy flared in 2003–2004, Sharples joined forces with Tariana Turia, a minister in the Labour Party government who resigned over the issue. Turia and Sharples began to organize a new party based around Turia's Te Tai Hauāuru seat. This eventually became launched on 7 July 2004 as the Māori Party, of which Sharples became co-leader.

In the general election of September 2005, Sharples contested and won the seat of Tamaki Makaurau, the Māori electorate covering urban Auckland, displacing former Labour MP John Tamihere.

Minister of Māori Affairs

In the 2008 general election Sharples was re-elected with a majority of more than 7000.[3] The National Party won most seats overall and formed a minority government with support from the Māori Party, Act New Zealand and United Future. Sharples was made Minister of Māori Affairs, although like other support party members he remained outside Cabinet.[4]


External links

Assembly seats
Preceded by
John Tamihere
Member of Parliament for Tāmaki Makaurau
Political offices
Preceded by
Parekura Horomia
Minister of Māori Affairs
Party political offices
Preceded by
Position Established
Co-leader of the Māori Party


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