Politicians pay tribute to Dr Ranginui Walker

  • Auckland

Tributes continue to flow for prominent leader, historian, academic and stalwart of Te Reo Māori, Dr Ranginui Walker who passed away at age 83.

Politicians are among the masses wanting to pay tribute.

Minister of Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell says, ““He spent his working life raising the consciousness of this nation. With his relentless research and sharp mind, he was able to articulate the wrongs of the past and champion a new way forward.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ranginui for the impact he’s had on the course of my life. He was one of the few commentators of his time to put the injustices Māori had suffered in a way that both Māori and Pākehā could understand.

He was fearless and often controversial. His messages ruffled feathers but few could argue with his rigorous research and knowledge.”

Prime Minister John Key released a statement saying, “I am saddened to learn of Dr Walker’s passing. He was not only an insightful commentator on important historical and contemporary issues, but was a tireless and passionate advocate for Māori.

I always enjoyed seeing Dr Walker, and felt privileged when he sent me copies of his work. Dr Walker was a leader by example, who will be missed by many.”

The Green Party also offered its condolences.

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says, “Dr Walker was held in huge esteem throughout New Zealand and by many of us in the Green Party.

I have been on many panels with Ranginui and he has always been open to a fiery debate. He was incredibly well informed, highly opinionated, and always willing to have an open conversation.

As a Māori activist lawyer, then politician, I have always had a lot to learn from listening and watching kaumātua like Ranginui Walker. The Green Party and I will miss him."

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters says, ““He was one who recognised the importance of education and was not just a proud Māori, but also a proud New Zealander.”

Te Kāea understands Ranginui Walker will lie at his home in Epsom, Mount Eden before being escorted by Whakatohea and his whānau to Ōrākei Marae on Wednesday at 11am.