Dr Walker: A man who empowered minds

By Heeni Brown
  • Auckland

Dignitaries from the Bay of Plenty, the South Island and many other corners of the nation are mourning the loss of such a noble leader who leaves behind his family.

Mātaatua came in full force with their lingering words of respect for their brother of Ngāti Rua, Ngāti Patumoana and Te Whakatōhea descent.

“It's now up to our children to follow your lead. You were an advocate for pushing issues to the forefront of discussion, a quality bestowed on you by your tribe of Te Whakatōhea. You made Māori aware. You pushed the issues into the spotlight for them,” say Te Makarini Temara from Ngāi Tūhoe..

Today was no different to yesterday's events, with Ngāti Whātua welcoming the multitudes to their marae of Ōrākei.

Māori activists made one last stand to farewell their comrade.

Fellow university graduate, Selwyn Muru said, “Although he may have gone to the spiritual realm, that doesn't mean they aren't here listening to everything that's being said. What better way to tell them the greatest thing we have ever achieved is not to let foreigners dictate the way we live?”

Ngāi Tahu also put their best speakers forward.

“Call upon us, the descendants of Waitaiki River of the South Island, Ngāi Tahu have come here today to bid you farewell, our precious gift and acknowledge you,” says Jymal Morgan from Ngāi Tahu.

The Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell was the last speaker to pay his respects to Dr Ranginui Walker, “You had such a big heart when it came to your people (Māori). Now there is no reason why our Māori world view should be a secret. Why? Because of your writings, your newspaper articles, magazine columns and books.”

The final service for Dr Ranginui Walker will be held tomorrow.

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