Honouring Sir Graham Latimer (1926-2016)

Kua hinga he kauri i te Wao nui-ā-Tāne. Haere atu rā e te hautipua o Ngāti Kahu ki te paepae o Matariki, o Rehua.

Haere atu rā. Moe mai rā I te poho o Ranginui e tū iho nei.

Māori Party laments the passing of Sir Graham Latimer who helped bring the Treaty of Waitangi back in to our nation’s consciousness.

“He was an outstanding leader who demonstrated the value of Māori working across the political spectrum”, says Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Favell.

“While he was a staunch National Party supporter he worked with Labour MP Matiu Rata to gain greater recognition of the Treaty.”

When the late Matiu Rata was the Māori Affairs Minister he established the Waitangi Tribunal in 1975 and Sir Graham Latimer was one of the first commissioners.

Sir Graham Latimer was at the helm of the New Zealand Māori Council for forty years (1973-2013) during a pivotal time for the Māori renaissance.

He also famously mortgaged his farm in Northland to appeal successfully against the widespread sale of state-owned assets.

Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says, “This generation is indebted to him for his foresight and courage.

Without the work and sacrifices made by people like Sir Graham, we would not have the gains we have made in key areas like fisheries, land, forestry, te reo Māori and broadcasting.

“His legacy continues today, including the current debate about the allocation of water rights.”

“Such was the commitment of his whānau to building a mature nation, that Tā Graham personally funded a full-page advertisement on Waitangi Day 1988 in all major newspapers throughout Aotearoa,” says Mr Flavell.

“His open letter included a copy of the Treaty and challenged the nation to consider its impact on their lives. Our greatest gift to the whānau would be to see his wishes more fully realised.”  

The Māori Party extends its aroha to the Latimer whānau and Ngāti Kahu at this sad time.

“While we mourn a public figure, we know he will be deeply missed by his children, mokopuna, whānau and friends. We extend our condolences to those grieving for his loss,” Mrs Fox says.

The tangihanga for Sir Graham Latimer will be held at Te Paatu Marae at Pamupuria, just south of Kaitāia. He will be buried alongside his beloved wife and constant companion Lady Emily Latimer who died last year.

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