E te rangatira, e te reo o ngā tīpuna, e te kaiārahi o ngā uri whakatipu: takoto mai, takoto mai, takoto mai rā! Hoea rā tō waka ki Hawaiki nui, Hawaiki roa, Hawaiki pāmaomao, moe mai rā.
The Māori Party today mourns a great statesman, a distinguished scholar, an inspirational mentor and a champion of the people in the sad passing of Professor Ranginui Walker.
“Matua Ranginui was a stalwart of ideas; his academic knowledge drove him to be vigilant in his pursuit of solutions,” says Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, former student of Dr Walker’s at Auckland University.
“He loved nothing more than posing challenging questions, inviting us to take up the inquiry into any sources of injustice we may encounter in our study and our lives.
“He had a significant influence on the course of my life and I, along with thousands of others, are indebted to him for his rigorous advocacy of Māori rights.”
He was an historian, a biographer and a prolific writer on contemporary Māori issues.
Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says, “Perhaps this great man’s most impressive contribution to nationhood, has been in the challenge summarised so aptly in his work, “Ka Whawhai tonu mātou; Struggle Without End”.
“Almost three decades have passed since that masterful work; his stories, his strategies, his courage has provided us for a strong basis for moving forward as a nation, to keep the struggle uppermost in our hearts and minds,” she says.
He was also a regular media commentator on Māori issues and never shied away from a well-argued controversy.
“Many of us, both Māori and Pākehā, have grown up listening to his articulate view of the injustices Māori have suffered since colonisation and his proposed remedies. Because of his depth of knowledge and his gentle manner, it was hard to argue with his uncompromising stance,” says Mrs Fox.
Mrs Fox had the privilege of meeting Dr Walker when he was hearing the Ngāti Kahungunu ki Waitangi claim as a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.
“He is one of those people that leaves an indelible imprint on your memory. He encouraged me to continue to be outspoken on Māori issues,” she says.
The Māori Party extends our aroha to his wife Deirdre, his whānau pani and to Te Whakatōhea who will all be mourning the loss of a loved family man and treasured descendant.