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Parekura Horomia

Written By: - Date published: 6:09 pm, April 29th, 2013 - 37 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Parekura Horomia has died following a bout of illness. He was a great Totara in the Labour forest and will be greatly missed.

Whano koe ki te rangi … ki a Tawhirimatea,
kia kaha ai koe, kia toa ai koe…
kia whai mana ai koe.

David Shearer’s tribute

Whatungarongaro te tangata toi te whenua, Kua hinga he totara i te wao nui a Tane

Labour Leader David Shearer says he and his colleagues are devastated at the loss of Labour MP, the Honourable Parekura Horomia, “our matua”. “We send our love and thoughts to his whanau, especially his sons and his mokopuna, and to all the others whose lives he has touched. “New Zealand has lost a truly great Maori leader.

“Parekura devoted his life to championing Maori aspiration and achievement.  Before entering politics he was a leader in work and community employment schemes on the East Coast. He took his grassroots knowledge through to leadership within the public sector, in roles in community employment and Maori development.

“As an MP and Minister he worked tirelessly to support the achievements of his people and of Maori across New Zealand. Under his guidance Maori well-being improved, employment increased and opportunities in education flourished.  He also oversaw the establishment of Maori Television and expansion of iwi radio.

“As a politician there were few who could match Parekura’s knowledge of Maori issues. At every marae and town in this country Parekura was welcomed as a leader and a friend. He was respected across New Zealand and across political lines.  His wisdom, passion and humour were a guiding light for Labour, and I will miss him and his advice tremendously.

“His loyalty to Labour and to our values of inclusion, fairness and solidarity was absolute. He stood strong for the people of Ikaroa-Rawhiti and for the rights of all Maori. We have lost a man of immense mana, a man of conviction and of compassion.  We celebrate his contribution to Aotearoa-New Zealand, and we mourn the loss of a great leader.

“The Labour whānau is heart-broken today,” David Shearer said.

Moira Coatsworth, Labour Party President said: “Parekura, our Labour matua and Vice President, will leave a huge gap. He was loved and respected throughout New Zealand after a lifetime of service fighting hard for a better life for all. Within Labour he inspired dedication and much affection and he worked tirelessly for our movement.”

And from Helen Clark:

It is with very great sadness that I have learned that Hon Parekura Horomia has passed away today.  Parekura was a greatly valued Minister in my Government. I relied on him enormously for his knowledge of Māoridom and Māoritanga. Parekura was infallibly a source of good advice and insights. He prioritised Māori economic, social, and cultural development, and was enormously and justifiably proud of the achievements during his time as Minister of Māori Affairs.

Parekura was one of the kindest people I have ever known. He put himself at the service of his people and New Zealand. He worked tirelessly as a Minister and as a Member of Parliament for one of New Zealand’s largest electorates. For me Parekura was a very good friend and colleague. He will be greatly missed by me. My heart goes out to Parekura’s whanau and community at this sad time.

Updated: From NZLP

As promised, we said we would let you know when we knew more about the Caucus and Party arrangements for Parekura’s tangi.

Wednesday 1 May
Labour’s delegation will be welcomed onto Hauiti Marae (click here for the location), if you wish to join us, please gather at the Marae entrance before 12.30pm. If you are flying into Gisborne, there will be transport from Gisborne Airport at around 11am.

Saturday 4 May
The tangi will be held from 10am Saturday. Friends are welcome to join us then.

37 comments on “Parekura Horomia ”

  1. Te Reo Putake 1

    Bugger. That’s sad news indeed. Met him at a couple of regional conferences and he was great company. Sorry to see him go, way too soon.

    • Anne 1.1


      I never saw him without a cheerful smile. Hone Harawira once described an incident involving Parekura:

      It was a dark and stormy Wellington night and pissing down with rain. Parekura was picking up Hone to take him to the home of a mutual friend for some laughter and kai. Just as Hone was about to open the car door, Parekura roared off around the corner and waited there. By the time Hone got to the car and jumped inside he was soaking wet. I’d love to know what he said to Parekura inside that car.

    • North 1.2

      Beautiful ! Humour ! I imagine it’d be impossible to keep on being hoha about whatever around such a person.

  2. ghostrider888 2

    God Bless.

  3. Pete 3

    Farewell, Parekura.

  4. IrishBill 5

    Parekura was the keystone of Labour’s Maori caucus for a long time. My condolences to his family and friends.

  5. I met Parekura a few times. He was a really cool guy. The nats gave him a hard time because he did not accord to their concepts of a parliamentarian but he was a very gracious person and what you saw with Parekura was what you got. If only more politicians were like this. On a marae he could not be matched and when talking to kiwis his ability to relate to them was phenomenal.

    I had the pleasure of being at the Avondale Markets with him campaigning and I can honestly say that he was one of the best campaigners I have seen. Even though he was 400 kilometers from home it seemed he knew half the people. I was really, really impressed with his ability to relate to ordinary kiwis.

    Best wishes to his whanau. The Labour forest has lost one of its biggest Totaras.

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    We remember Parekura as the friendly guy in the white freezing worker gumboots + stubbies which firmly cemented him as a man of his people in our minds. Completely at ease with himself and others and a real joy to be around – that is what a genuine smile looks like on a politician.

    A very sad loss indeed.

  7. karol 8

    I’m saddened. He was too young to go.

    His life was a valued one. Parekura did excellent service for the wider community, his people, and he was for working people.

  8. Nick K 9

    Very sudden which makes it more saddening. He was far too young.

  9. PM marks death of Parekura Horomia

    Prime Minister John Key has offered his condolences to the whanau of Labour MP Parekura Horomia who died today.

    Parekura Horomia was the Member for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, a former Labour Minister of Māori Affairs and a member of the Labour caucus since 1999.

    “Parekura has been a stalwart of the East Coast community for decades. He has championed their causes and supported those in need.

    “I know my colleague, Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson, praised his advocacy for ensuring that, as the rate of Treaty settlements increased, the Crown’s commitments were actively honoured.

    “The Government had enormous respect for the tireless work Parekura did for Māori, first as Minister, and then as a member of the Māori Affairs Select Committee during a period of increasing workload and important issues.

    “I am thinking of his whānau at this very sad time. It is difficult to grieve privately when your father, grandfather, brother or uncle was a very public figure. “The Horomia family will take comfort in the achievements of a life well lived and know that he made a difference in the lives of many.”

    Parekura Horomia was aged 62 and was a widower with three sons.

  10. Craig Glen viper 11

    I first meet Parekura during the 99 campaign. He was honestly one of the few Politicians who was genuine and he really carried for people regardless of their race or heritage. Through out the following years I have always sought him out when in Parliament or other gatherings. Pare didnt care what your title was or how much power you had or didnt have he would always give me that big smile followed by a big hug.
    In the Political world Pare was a rarity it was not his way to be the big noter his approach was different from what most people expected from Politicians. Helen got it right it was his ‘kindness’ that was his strength. His family can be very proud of him, I was blessed to have spent time with him over the years. God bless you mate and thanks for your kindness RIP.

  11. RIP, though Im not a labour supporter now, he was one of most hardest working MP’s there was. Thoughts with his friends and family.

  12. xtasy 13

    RIP Parekura, you were always not one of the prominent faces, but a silent, friendly and loveable chap, as I hear. You were also smarter than many from the opposition and so thought you were, and you have a strong whanau, rohe and electorate behind you. Sad days for them and many of us, but thanks for doing your share for NZ.

  13. rosy 14

    The world is always poorer with the loss of the good and the kind. A life well lived.

  14. vto 15

    When giant trees fall new saplings rise to fill their space. RIP great man.

  15. Lefty 16

    I was priviliged to work with Parekura in various ways over a period of some 25 years.

    He was tireless in his dedication to achieving practical improvements in the lives of Maori.

    The concept of working class solidarity was no mere slogan to him, union values were part of who he was.

    He was a fine man and a master politician.

  16. Jenny Michie 17

    Aye to all of the above. Parekura was one of the best. He was a gifted campaigner and surrounded himself with people as dedicated and passionate as he was.

    I’ll always cherish a road trip that David (rechristened Rawini by the man himself) and I took with Pare and his troops up the East Coast all the way to Uawa. We wusses watched from the shelter of the bleachers as Pare roared and roamed sidelines of a sodden rugby final between Uawa and Ruratoria (if memory serves me right). Later that evening, after a kai with absolutely no ‘pakeha food’ as he called it, we were honored to witness and be part of a hypnotically powerful haka involving every man, woman and child in the club rooms. I’d never seen anything like it and haven’t since.

    Thank you for that Parekura. Aroha and much respect to you and your whanau.

  17. George D 18

    I never knew him, never even met him. But things I’ve heard from those friends of mine who do convince me he was a great man.

    Haere atu ra e koro.

  18. veutoviper 19

    I had the honour to have some dealings with Parakura Horomia about 10 years ago and also know well people who directly worked for Pare for years. To me, Pare was someone who made an immediate -and very lasting – impression on me as someone who was very intelligent and, at the same time, very humble and caring – for everyone regardless of race etc. Kia kaha Parekura. You enriched my life and understanding of what NZ and NZers are all about in the crossing of our paths – brief as they were.

    If only we had more like Pare – but there was only one. A great Tane has fallen.

  19. Enough is Enough 20

    Sad day for the shearing commumity.

    In his day he could spit out 300 in a day, quite a gun, although Bill English did beat him in the Golden Shears politician challenge in about 2003.

  20. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 21

    So, are we all politely ignoring the fact that he ate himself to death and had the taxpayer pay the bill?

    • Te Reo Putake 21.1

      Wow, didn’t realise you were a doctor, SHG. I had previously assumed you were just an ignorant fool with no sense of propriety and the self control issues normally associated with horny monkeys.

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 21.1.1

        What I am is someone who has seen his credit card receipts. He ate a staggering quantity of food, almost all of it fatty greasy heart-attack material and he was quite happy to charge it all to the NZ taxpayer. When a man in Horomia’s condition sits down and eats $500 meals by himself (Grand Century Chinese Restaurant, Wellington) you know he ain’t thinking of having a future.

        • Colonial Viper

          LOL You may have somehow seen a receipt, but Parliamentary Services wouldn’t let any expenses like that get through, and the Leaders office would have got a sharp note on the matter.

          Which means you’re a lying disrespectful son of a bitch.

          • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

            lol pwned

            [lprent: banned one week. I’d have warned except that you have been commenting here enough over the years to know my reaction to that pathetic tactic. ]

  21. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 22

    Hey, cognitive dissonance, make yourself at home.

    Horomia’s taxpayer-funded food binges are a matter of public record along with Shane Jones’s wank material and Clayton Cosgrove’s theft-prone $1500 taxpayer-purchased suits. The receipts were published online. Forgotten already?

  22. Rhinocrates 23

    He’s been a loss, a great loss, and for Labour, indeed a great Totara – and a Totara is a tree with roots that spread wide and deep, as the roots of all trees do.

    If Labour wishes to honour his memory, then it should remember what he was and what he stood for. They should select a successor who can represent the same deep and wide community bond that he did.

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