MPs pay respect to “a revolutionary of our time”

By Ripeka Timutimu
  • Auckland
  • Wellington

Politicians around the country have also paid tribute to Dr Walker. The Minister for Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell, described him as a revolutionary of our time.

Politicians around the country have also paid tribute to Dr Walker. The Minister for Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell, described him as a revolutionary of our time.

Surrounded by some of the most brilliant Māori academics of our day, these are the last pictures Te Kāea have of Ranginui Walker here at Parliament.

“He was never afraid to say what he thought to Pākehā, the government, the Prime Minister, his iwi, and no doubt to his children. He was a great man and we will mourn his passing,” says the Minister of Māori Affairs, Te Ururoa Flavell.

Te Ururoa Flavell was a student at Auckland University while Walker was also there. He says his influence was huge, “He undertook extensive research on many topics and became an expert on the Treaty of Waitangi.”

Tāmaki Makarau MP, Peeni Henare remembers when he first saw Dr Walker, “In my first year at university, I was enrolled in a paper called 'Te Ao Maori'. He was one of the people who established that paper. He came one day to listen to the goings on in that class. At the end of the class, he stood up and disagreed with everything the teacher had said. It showed how much mana he held.”

Like Dr Walker, Kelvin Davis has built a career in education. But he says it was during Te Paparahi o te Raki hearings that Walker influenced him the most.

“He was such a sharp mind. We spoke of many things including education. I'm worried the tribunal will struggle to fill the huge gap he has left,” says Davis

“For those of us who had the chance to learn under him, it was an absolute privilege,” says Flavell.

Prime Minister John Key and Northland MP Winston Peters have also paid their respects to Dr Walker, issuing their condolences to his family.

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