7 May 2013

Parliament pays tribute to Parekura Horomia

7:22 pm on 7 May 2013

Members of Parekura Horomia's Ngati Porou iwi and whanau watched from Parliament's public gallery on Tuesday, as MPs put aside their usual debates to remember him.

Parliamentary business was suspended while MPs paid tribute to the former Maori Affairs Minister, who died more than a week ago.

The tributes began following the blessing of his seat in the Parliamentary chamber.

They were lead by the Prime Minister, John Key, who said Parekura Horomia had the rare ability to bridge the Parliamentary divide.

He said Mr Horomia was able to bring Maori MPs from different parties together, and in many respects he was Parliament's "kaumatua" (esteemed elderly figure).

The Labour Party leader, David Shearer, says Mr Horomia's contribution as minister was immense.

Mr Shearer says he introduced iwi radio and Maori television, and Maori unemployment halved during his tenure.

He says Parekura Horomia was regarded the "matua" or senior member of the Labour Party.