Te Ao Māori has lost a prominent leader, historian, academic and stalwart of Te Reo Māori me ōna Tikanga, Dr Ranginui Walker.
Dr Walker of Te Whakatōhea and Lebanese descent passed away in Auckland and is expected to be taken to Orākei Marae.
The esteemed academic dedicated much of his life to documenting historical events of significance from a uniquely Māori perspective.
He authored a number of respected works which included, Ka Whawhai Tonu Mātou: Struggle without End, which documented two centuries of the Māori struggle for justice, equality and self-determination.
Dr Walker was born in 1932 and educated at St Peters Māori College, he was a primary school teacher for 10 years and maintained a lectureship at Auckland Teachers College for five years.
Among the many prominent and influential roles he held, Dr Walker was a member of the New Zealand Māori Council and a foundation member of the World Council of Indigenous People.
He was a Professor and Head of Department in Māori Studies at Auckland University and received a number of awards for his literary works, which included a Prime Minister's Literary Award and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland.
He was a member of the Māori rights group Ngā Tama Toa in the 1970’s which promoted Māori rights and fought against racial discrimination.
More recently he was named as one of the top ten contenders nominated for the New Zealander of the year award, which highlighted his tireless efforts and contribution to Te Ao Māori.
Te Kāea understands Dr Walker will lie at his home in Epsom, Mt Eden. He will then be escorted by Whakatohea and his whanau to Ōrākei Marae on Wednesday at 11am.
His funeral service is expected to be held 11am Friday 4th March at Ōrākei Marae.