At the funeral of Waireti Walters today the health pioneer’s death is being described as a huge loss for the community.
The final service is underway at Te Paatu Marae, where hundreds have paid their condolences over the past three days.
Waireti was one of the first Māori community health workers and worked in the health sector from the late 1970s right up until mid 2000s, pioneering healthcare services in urban Auckland such as the Whānau Room at the National Women’s Hospital and the Te Whare Rapuora service based in Glen Innes.
Local iwi radio host, Ngāwai Herewini said Waireti’s death is a huge blow for the Far North community, after the recent losses of Lady Emily Latimer, Te Kawariki founder Ngāreta Jones and Te Rarawa leader Gloria Herbert.
Educationalist and part time activist Hilda Harawira spoke about the work Waireti did in the community, helping poor families.
Waireti will be laid to rest at Tarakaka urupa, Pamapuria.
Dean Nathan has the full report on Te Kāea, 5.30pm.