Willie is passionate about advancing the rights and opportunities of Māori, low-wage workers and women in Aotearoa.
He comes from a renowned family of activists who have worked tirelessly to advance the rights of poorly paid workers while exposing social injustices on many levels, using Māori matters as a touchstone.
Labour’s vision is for all New Zealanders to experience the Kiwi Dream – an aspiration that Willie shares strongly with the party.
His focus for New Zealanders has always been about having a fair paying job, quality education, accessible health, a warm home and a safe community for all our whānau.
Having lived in South Auckland all his life, Willie is ardent advocate for Māori development and has followed in the footsteps of his mother and father in the continuation of the Urban Māori movement, seeking justice and rights for a class of Māori who make up the majority of the population – but are often treated as second class citizens.
Willie is concerned about the state of housing in New Zealand and the increasing number of families who are winding up homeless or living in overcrowded houses and garages, many of them Māori.
He has a strong history of supporting and advocating for community development, playing an integral role in a number of local, regional and national Māori intiatives like the Manukau Urban Māori Authority, the National Urban Māori Authority, Te Pou Matakana, Te Mātāwai, the NZ Māori Council, Te Pūtahi Pāoho Māori Television Electoral College, Te Whakaruruhau O Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori – Iwi Radio Network, and more.
He’s married to Tania Rangiheuea who has a background in education, management and consultancy, and has five tamariki.