Te Wahine Māori Tuatahi i Pāremata I tēnei wiki, i te wiki whakamutunga o Huitanguru, i ngā tau o mua, ka whānau mai a Iriaka Rātana. Ka pakeke mai ia, ā, ka tū ia hei wahine Māori tuatahi mō te Pāremata o Aotearoa.
I whānau mai a Iriaka i te tau 1905 i te awa o Whanganui. Nōna e tamariki ana ka rekareka ki a ia te waiata. Nō tōna huringa tau tekau mā ono ka hūnuku atu ia ki te Pā o Rātana ki reira noho ai. I a ia i reira, ka tū ia hei mema mō ngā kapa haka, nāwai rā ka tīmata tana karore haere i Aotearoa. Ka mau kē tōna wehi!
E rua ana mārenatanga, ā, ko tāna makau tuarua ko Matiu Rātana. I pōtihia a Matiu hei Mema Pāremata mō Te Tai Hauāuru i te tau 1945, ā, ka waiho mā Iriaka te pāmu kau me ngā tamariki e tiaki.
I hinga a Matiu i te tau 1949, ā, ka tū a Iriaka hei kairīwhi mōna. I nui te amuamutia o tā tētahi wahine tū hei Mema Pāremata, heoi, i kōwhiria tonutia ia, ka mutu, ko ia te wahine Māori tuatahi i tū hei Mema Pāremata!
I mōhio whānuitia a Iriaka hei wahine atawhai, hei wahine ngāwari hoki i runga i te āhua o tana kawe i a ia anō. He kaha tana hāpai i te iwi Māori, he kaha hoki tana kōkiri i ngā kaupapa mō te oranga tonutanga o te iwi Māori.
Ka heke ia i tana tūru i te tau 1969, nāwai rā ka whakawhiwhia ia ki te tohu ‘Āpiha o te Emapaea o Piritana’ (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) mō āna mahi hāpai i te iwi Māori.
Kei runga noa atu tēnei wahine toa!
Iriaka Rātana/ Beehive / Government emblem
First wahine to represent Māori in New Zealand parliament.
This week in history on February 25th, a kōtiro named Iriaka Rātana was born. She would later go on to become the first wahine to represent Māori in the New Zealand parliament.
Iriaka was born on the Whanganui river in 1905 and had a love for singing from an early age. At age 16 she moved to Rātana pā where she performed in kapa haka groups that travelled around all of Aotearoa, she was very talented!
She married twice in her life, and it was her second husband Matiu Rātana who won the Western Māori Parliamentary Seat in 1945. Iriaka was left to run their dairy and farm alone, as well as raise their children.
Matiu passed away four years later and Iriaka stepped into his place, where she received a lot of backlash because she was a woman. In 1949 she was selected by the Labour party, officially becoming the first wahine māori in Parliament!
Iriaka was known as a very kind and polite wahine, which gained her a lot of respect. She worked hard for Māori, to improve their standard of life, especially for her people back home at Rātana Pā.
She retired in 1969 and was later appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her services to Māori.
What a Wahine toa! (Kei runga noa atu ia!)