Teanau has over 20 years experience as an activist, an advocate, and organiser at local, national, and international levels.

He attributes his interest in political change to his mum (Ngāpuhi) and his grandfather (Atiu). After going to the Anti-Springbok tour protests with his mum in 1981, the idea of making things better stuck with him. After high school, he went to Auckland University and found himself learning about politics in Dr Ranginui Walkers class. The next year he enrolled in an environmental science paper taught by Jeanette Fitzsimons. He credits this for opening his eyes on issues around biodiversity and climate change, which has driven much of his work since. 

In Pasifika communities, Teanau is known for his work in the education sector and climate change advocacy, while in Māori communities he is known for his indigenous rights activism. He has a particular interest in working at the crossroads of indigenous rights and environmental issues, and has worked the United Nations, working to ensure the voices of remote indigenous communities on the frontlines of climate change and biodiversity loss were heard.

Teanau was inspired to run for parliament to push for more urgent action on climate change and to help build fairer communities. He’s passionate about the need for our climate response to include a strong and just transition – one that ensures workers’ rights are protected and puts what’s best for the community at the heart of that transition. He believes that to do this, Parliament is just one tool in the toolbox, and sees opportunity in Parliament working with the community to help find and create opportunities to move faster.

Teanau is the Green Party’s first MP with Cook Islands and Māori heritage, being Cook Islands Māori (Atiu – Ngati Ingatu, Ngati Toki, Ngati Paerangi) and New Zealand Māori (Te Uriroroi, Ngāpuhi and Ngāi Takoto), and is a List MP based in Palmerston North.

Our people

Marama Davidson

Marama grew up all over Aotearoa; born in Auckland, she then lived in Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch. When Marama was nine, her grandfather p...
Read More

James Shaw

James Shaw  firmly believes that New Zealand can be an example to the world in transitioning to a high-value, clean-tech, post-carbon economy that...
Read More

Chlöe Swarbrick

Chlöe is your Member of Parliament for Auckland Central. It’s the place she calls home, the community she belongs to and the city – and Hauraki Gul...
Read More

Julie Anne Genter

Julie Anne is working for more sustainable and just communities, and advocates for infrastructure that delivers for our people and protects the cl...
Read More

Jan Logie

Jan’s Southland childhood established her deep connection with the beauty of an untouched environment. But it was the impact of the economic refor...
Read More

Eugenie Sage

Eugenie loves Canterbury’s big skies, its braided rivers, and the mountains of Kā Tiritiri o te Moana/the Southern Alps, which form the spine of T...
Read More

Golriz Ghahraman

Golriz is an Iranian-Kiwi refugee and made history as the first ever refugee to be sworn in as an MP, having arrived in Aotearoa as a child asylum...
Read More

Ricardo Menéndez March

Ricardo grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, a place where the politics of hate and division impacted the very land that he lived on. Over the past few ye...
Read More