Maria Te Aukaha Huata Nomination Photo

About Maria

I come from a whānau steeped in education who are all staunch advocates of Te Reo Māori and Te Ao Māori. We hail from the iwi of Waikato Maniapoto, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Whakaue.

My six siblings and I were all brought up in Kirikiriroa Waikato.
Alongside our mother our matriarch Dr Te Rita Papesch we are all graduates of The University of Waikato.
Between my husband and I, we share eleven children and one mokopuna.

My background is in broadcasting, education and the environment.
I am passionate that everyone should have access to adequate housing, food and clean water.
I strongly believe that to support a community that is thriving, everyone should have access to the necessary resources to identify where they come from, who they are and where they are going to.
This can only be achieved through equity, and the eradication of poverty.



What would be your top three priorities for Council in the next three years? Describe what you want Hamilton Kirikiriroa to be in 10 years' time.


My top three priorities for the Council for the next three years will be adequate housing,
food, and clean water for all citizens.

In ten years’ time my vision for Kirikiriroa is that we will be a vibrant, thriving, bustling
metropolis that is environmentally, socially and culturally conscious. The distinct whakapapa
history of Kirikiriroa and the unique reo language will be acknowledged and reflected in all
areas of the city as a living entity for all to share and celebrate.


What is the most important opportunity Hamilton Kirikiriroa should explore to mitigate climate change?


The Waikato River is our most important taonga treasure and our most significant asset. The most important opportunity that Kirikiriroa should explore to mitigate climate change would be to work alongside Tangata Whenua to honour, support and uphold the ‘Waikato River Settlement and Empowering Bill 2024’.

The main purpose of this bill focuses on “restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of our river for future generations which includes all members of our community.”


If there was one thing you could change about Hamilton Kirikiriroa immediately, what would it be?


If there were one thing I could change about Hamilton Kirikiriroa immediately, it would be to prioritise the use of Kirikiriroa as the true name of this city and to revert all street signs to the original names proposed by Ngāti Wairere the mana whenua of Kirikiriroa.


What qualities would you bring to Council that will help our city thrive?


I was born and bred in Kirikiriroa and have served our city from a young girl to a grown woman. Being a mother of eight, a grandmother of one and an Aunty to many has required me to develop my skills of leadership, management, diplomacy, and communication, and as a counsellor, advisor, facilitator, activator, educator, consultant and as a Kaitiaki of and for multiple causes.

My greatest power is the innate ability to identify the greatness in others and empower them to shine. I am the ultimate connector of people deeply rooted in my reo, tikanga and culture.


Where can voters go to learn more about you?




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