5 Oct 2017

Iwi leader Lewis Moeau dies, aged 79

8:38 pm on 5 October 2017

The Māori community has come together to remember iwi leader and public servant Lewis Moeau who died today at the age of 79.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with kaumatua Lewis Moeau, right, are greeted at a powhiri in the grounds of Government House.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with kaumatua Lewis Moeau, right, are greeted at a pōwhiri in the grounds of Government House in 2014. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Lewis Moeau was an advocate for Māoridom and his people of Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngāi Tamanuhiri.

Mr Moeau was a companion of the Queen Service Order and held many senior government positions for more than 30 years.

He could often be seen at the side of dignitaries, world leaders and royal family members when they were welcomed to New Zealand.

He was also a lead negotiator for the Rongowhakaata claims settlement, the inaugural chairman of the Rongowhakāta Iwi Trust and sat on many boards for his iwi.

Te Puni Kōkiri chief executive Michelle Hippolite said the news had rippled through their organisation.

"We are all mourning the loss of our beloved koroua, who has been part of our whānau for many years," she said.

"Pāpā Lewis worked in my office and I will always be grateful for the calmness and mana he brought to our whare. Our thoughts are with his whānau at this time."

Te Ikaroa Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri is a niece of Mr Moeau's and said he would be sorely missed.

"Uncle had an unequivocal gift of guiding and generosity of sharing his enormous kete of knowledge. E Te Pāpā, moe mai i runga e ngā ringringa o tātou atua."

His tangi will be held at Te Pahou Marae in Gisborne and his nehu will be held at 11am on Monday 9 September.

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