Marama grew up all over Aotearoa; born in Auckland, she then lived in Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch.
When Marama was nine, her grandfather passed away, and her family then moved to Whirinaki for the first time. Her father had never been to Whirinaki before and was so enthralled by this beautiful homeland that he immediately moved the family back to Whirinaki in Hokianga following the tangi of his father. Whirinaki became home for the rest of Marama’s childhood, until she moved to Hamilton to start university and has since settled in Manurewa, in Auckland.
Marama was born into a family of young, urban Maori activists and brings that with her to Parliament, every day. Being of Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa and Ngāti Porou descent, Marama is passionate about improving outcomes for the many and not just the few, including for Māori. She always looks to work with community leaders who do the hard work on the ground every day in building community.
Prior to becoming an MP, Marama worked for the Human Rights Commission for 10 years, and was the Chief Panelist for the Glenn Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Child Abuse. Her involvement in the inquiry placed violence at the forefront of her political radar. She brings this experience to the new role as Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, following on from the work Green MP Jan Logie led as Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Domestic and Sexual Violence issues).
Marama lives with her six children, her mokopuna and husband in Manurewa. Over the past five years she has dedicated her efforts on understanding the housing crisis around the whole country, and is deeply committed to helping those with the greatest need get into secure housing. As Associate Minister for Housing with responsibility for addressing homelessness, Marama will bring her expertise and commitment to create real change for our communities.
Marama is passionate about all areas of injustice, and is committed to using her voice wherever she can to elevate issues. She is inspired by her nana, who passed away 15 years ago, as she was a woman who lived a lifetime of challenges, and is grateful to her parents for being staunch role models to do what is right for people and planet.
"I am enthusiastic and excited about making change that honours our connection to each other, and our planet."