30 April 2013

Labour MP Hon Parekura Horomia

Ka ngarua te takapau o whatitiri
Ko te tuki, te rapa, te kanapa
He tohu mate
Kua hinga te totara haemata i te Waonui-o-Tane.
No reira, e te Rangatira, e Parekura
Moe mai, moe mai, moe tonu mai.

Te Ohu Kaimoana (the Māori Fisheries Trust) extends its condolences to the whanau of Hon Parekura Horomia, who passed away yesterday.

Parekura worked tirelessly to advance the well being of Māori. He was a strong advocate of the Treaty Settlements process and worked to ensure the Crown honoured its obligations.

He played a role in resolving the debate over the allocation of the Māori Commercial Fisheries Settlement. As Associate Minister of Māori Affairs, he was involved in restructuring the board of the former Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission (Te Ohu Kai Moana) in 2000, which enabled a break-through in the decade-long impasse over how the $700 million Settlement, consisting of cash, quota and shares in fishing companies, would be allocated to iwi organisations.

Mr Matiu Rei, the Chairman of Te Ohu Kaimoana (the Māori Fisheries Trust), the successor to the former Commission, said today that Parekura will be remembered as someone who was extremely affable but was able to make the necessary hard decisions for Māori.

“Parekura took criticism from iwi around the country over the decision of the then Labour Government to replace almost the entire board of the Commission with new people. But it was a decision that history has shown to be the right one. As a result, iwi began receiving fisheries settlement assets less than five years later and now, in 2013, all iwi are receiving the economic benefit from the settlement,” Mr Rei said.

During his time in Parliament, Parekura also held the Associate Minister of Fisheries portfolio, and worked to ensure the fisheries settlement was not eroded through changes in fisheries and environment policies. He was a strong supporter of the Sealord Deal and the economic growth of iwi fishing businesses and Māori economic development overall.

Te Ohu Kaimoana extends its sincerest condolences and sympathies to his whanau.