In the whānau

Elizabeth's father Karauria Tarao (Bison) Kerekere holds and intricate carving.

On the side of her father Karauria Tarao (Bison) Kerekere, Elizabeth is Whānau a Kai, Ngāti Oneone, Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Rongowhakaata and Ngāi Tāmanuhiri. Her main marae are Te Poho o Rāwiri, Pākōwhai and Takipū.

Elizabeth with her mother Erin Lorna Kerekere and

On the side of her mother Erin Lorna Kerekere nee Ryan, Elizabeth hails from County Clare and County Tipperary in Ireland.

Elizabeth's wife Alofa with their black dog Indie

Elizabeth was born in Gisborne, Aotearoa New Zealand, where she lives with her wife, Alofa Aiono, and their furry babies Indie, Havana and Chicago. Alofa is a “New Zealand-made Samoan” from the Aiono aiga of Fasito’outa and the Lauofo aiga of Luatuanu’u in Samoa. Elizabeth and Alofa have been together since 1992 and had their civil union in 2006.


Elizabeth founded Tīwhanawhana Trust in 2001 to advocate for takatāpui to “tell our stories, build our communities and leave a legacy.” She has dedicated her life to this. In Parliament, Elizabeth has always said she is “on loan from Tīwhanawhana” which she considers to be her political tūrangawaewae.