Ranginui Walker

To be honest I don’t know a heck of a lot about Dr Ranginui Walker, who died on 28 Februrary.

But he is obviously respected and even revered by many people.

Maori Television reports: Te Ao Māori mourns the loss of esteemed leader Dr Ranginui Walker

Te Ao Māori has lost a prominent leader, historian, academic and stalwart of Te Reo Māori me ōna Tikanga, Dr Ranginui Walker.

Dr Walker of Te Whakatōhea and Lebanese descent passed away in Auckland and is expected to be taken to Orākei Marae.

The esteemed academic dedicated much of his life to documenting historical events of significance from a uniquely Māori perspective.

He authored a number of respected works which included, Ka Whawhai Tonu Mātou: Struggle without End, which documented two centuries of the Māori struggle for justice, equality and self-determination.

Dr Walker was born in 1932 and educated at St Peters Māori College, he was a primary school teacher for 10 years and maintained a lectureship at Auckland Teachers College for five years.

Among the many prominent and influential roles he held, Dr Walker was a member of the New Zealand Māori Council and a foundation member of the World Council of Indigenous People.

He was a Professor and Head of Department in Māori Studies at Auckland University and received a number of awards for his literary works, which included a Prime Minister’s Literary Award and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland.

He was a member of the Māori rights group Ngā Tama Toa in the 1970’s which promoted Māori rights and fought against racial discrimination.

More recently he was named as one of the top ten contenders nominated for the New Zealander of the year award, which highlighted his tireless efforts and contribution to Te Ao Māori.


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  1. MrMan

     /  3rd March 2016

    “To be honest I don’t know a heck of a lot about Dr Ranginui Walker, who died on 28 February.[sic]
    But he is obviously respected and even revered by many people.”

    You could have looked something up. Or not bothered. That is a shocker of an obituary Pete.
    He was worth a lot more than that.

    • jamie

       /  3rd March 2016

      But he did look something up, and quoted it in detail.

      Now if you want to see a real shocker of an obituary, see Pete on David Bowie 🙂

      • Pickled Possum

         /  3rd March 2016

        HaHa I remember that … but We can be Heroes has been stuck in my mind ever since 🙂

    • If you think that why don’t you make an effort? That’s why I put up this post. Do you think it’s more important to diss me than to say what you think about him?

      • MrMan

         /  3rd March 2016

        I think it’s important to call you out for phoning in 2 lines of cack to try and get some milage out of the death of NZ’s greatest maori historian. You didn’t even spell the month correctly.

        • So you decided to divert and disrupt the post to take some cheap shots at me rather than show respect for him and his life? That’s crappy. How about saying something that shows you actually rate his importance rather than use this as an excuse to criticise?

        • Pythagoras

           /  3rd March 2016

          C’mon Mr Man, if you know so much about “NZ’s greatest maori [sic] historian”, please tell us. Or, if you can’t improve on silence, then don’t try.

          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  3rd March 2016

            Either ignore the troll or flick the troll………

        • Pickled Possum

           /  3rd March 2016

          Mr Man quieten down a bit please otherwise some are gonna have a blast at you which could well turn this into a thread of Hate and Destruction when it should be a thread for some thoughts of a great man who is being put in the ground tomorrow .. please. Your point has been taken and now we move on.

  2. Pickled Possum

     /  3rd March 2016

    Thanks Pete for putting this post up I appreciate the chance to have a say on this.

    I don’t know much about the finer details of politics but I have learnt things on this site.

    I am always ready to learn some more of what makes NZ unique

    Ranginui Walker was a tireless worker in his Te Ao Maori history research

    His great love and commitment to his hapu iwi was proclaimed thru out Whakatohea.

    The first day I meet him was at Auck Uni and he started his lecture with an

    explanation of his name.

    There was a drowning tragedy in 1900 … the people of Te Whanau Apanui had a school at

    Omaio and the people of Maraenui had children but no school.

    The Motu river came between them so every Monday the 16 children and 2 adults crossed

    the river in their canoes and stayed there till Friday then they went home again to Maraenui.

    When the Motu is in flood it looks like the zambezi to me very forceful.

    you can read the rest here …. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?

    After the hour long lecture Ranginui spoke to me and said ‘always remember that a word has

    meaning as well as definition’ just like his name which meant the whole story of the tragedy.

    To me he was a man of education knowledge fairness mana and was usually the sharpest

    knife in the draw so don’t tangle with him cause you will get ‘cut you to shreds’ 🙂

    Also he was always the best dressed at hui and tangi

    he reminded me of the Spy vs Spy the black one … are you allowed to say black?

    He will be missed for his knowing ways I am sure his books will fill in gaps

    in years to come for the youth who want to know Maori history.

    RIP Ranginui Walker

  3. Pickled Possum

     /  3rd March 2016

    Sorry my computer has formatting issues that i cant fix … just yet.

    • @ Possum toku hoa, te hei mauri ora. When the time comes for the peoples’ of Aotearoa-New Zealand to truly meet, heal together, decide who we are and move forward, the words and spirit of Dr Ranginui Walker will be there to guide us. We will need him I think?

      E kore nga kaumatua pono mate tino : Our true elders never really die.

      Moe Mai : Rest in Peace.

  4. Mike C

     /  4th March 2016

    The Tangihanga of Dr Ranginui Walker is being televised on Maori Television (Channel 5) right now … and there have been some very interesting speakers thus far 🙂

    It goes to about 2pm.


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