|English: Parekura Horomia, a New Zealand politician (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Sharples: Poroporoaki ki a Parekura Tureia Horomia
Minister of Maori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples tonight paid tribute to his predecessor, Parekura Tureia Horomia, who passed away yesterday.
"Parekura was a great man in every sense of the word, and as a new Minister I had to fill some very big shoes," said Dr Sharples.
"He had been MP for Ikaroa Rawhiti since 1999, and was Minister of Maori Affairs from 2000 to 2008. In that time he had advanced a wide range of initiatives.
"Most notably he led the establishment of Maori Television, expanded the Waitangi Tribunal, and restructured the Maori Trust Office to meet contemporary needs. He lifted the funding for Maori Wardens, updated fisheries legislation and supported many Maori development projects."
"He also had Associate Ministerial roles in Education, Employment, State Services, Economic Development, Tourism, Fisheries and Forestry - all areas that were of huge importance to Maori at those times. His understanding of many of those areas also came from his experience in the public service, especially employment issues. Many Maori and community organisations secured funding from GELS and CEGS through Parekura’s support
"As a staunch advocate for education he initiated the Hui Taumata Matauranga where he brought together our great minds to explore educational issues; and he was also a champion for our wananga, whare kura and Maori education in general."
"His whanau, friends, and his electorate absolutely adored him. He has touched so many lives, in every corner of New Zealand. If there was a hui, you would often see Parekura there. No fuss, just there supporting the kaupapa - that was just his nature. He was a true gentleman, with not a bad bone in his body, nor a bad word for anyone."
"His dedication to his people was unwavering. He served his people tirelessly as MP for Ikaroa Rawhiti for 13 years and as Minister of Maori Affairs in the Labour Government for eight years, and we will miss him," said Dr Sharples.