The University of Auckland is saddened by the death of Emeritus Professor Dr Ranginui Walker who died this morning at the age of 83.
University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon says Dr Walker continued to serve the University in many ways.
He says, “We mourn the loss of a distinguished Māori academic and longstanding member of the University. The University sends their deepest condolences to his wife Deidre, son Professor Michael Walker and whānau pani.”
The University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Māori), Jim Peters says, “He generously shared his knowledge with all. He was very aware of the need for whānau and intergenerational achievement and sought to place Māori within the social and environmental future of Aotearoa.”
Associate Professor Tracey McIntosh of the University’s Centre of Research Excellence Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga, said herself and Dr Walker’s other colleagues were in deep mourning.
“The shock of it this morning was profound. His intellectual labour has provided for so many of us the foundation of our work.”
Dr McIntosh said Dr Walker spoke to many audiences through his academic research and his columns in Metro and the Listener magazines that “added his distinctive voice to the nation.”
Dr McIntosh says, “This was a man who was shy by nature but was driven by the need to ensure there was justice and understanding.”
Dr Walker studied at the University, gaining a Diploma of Teaching in 1962, a Bachelor of Arts in 1962 and a Master of Arts in 1966.
In 1967 he took up a temporary lectureship in the Anthropology Department at the University where he completed his PhD in 1970.
Dr Walker was appointed associate professor of Māori studies in the Anthropology Department at Auckland University in 1986. He served as professor of Māori Studies from 1993 to 1997 and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Māori) from 1996-1997.
The University made Dr Walker a Distinguished Alumni in 2012.