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.