76-year-old Dame Nganeko Minhinnick was an esteemed elder of Ngāti Te Ata, Waikato and Te Waiohua.
Kiingitanga spokesperson Rahui Papa spoke to Kawe Kōrero Reporters and says Dame Nganeko was a staunch advocate for the environment.
He says, “She took the Labour Government to court. Chief Justice Sian Elias was her lawyer and they pushed for iwi to be included in Crown and council negotiations with regard to the RMA. This had ramifications for the whole country.”
Papa says she was also a woman who would fight to death for the language and its customs as well as the land.
Dame Ngaheko Minhinnick is expected to lie in state at Tahuna Marae in Waiuku where she will also be laid to rest.