12 Nov 2012

Tributes to Te Arawa leader

11:07 pm on 12 November 2012

Tributes are being paid to a prominent Te Arawa leader who died on Monday after a long battle with diabetes.

Rawiri Te Whare played a pivotal role in securing the iwi's $85 million Treaty of Waitangi settlement and apology from the Crown several years ago.

He was also awarded the Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit for his work - and worked tirelessly teaching te reo Maori and developing the language.

The former chairman of the-now disestablished Te Arawa Trust Board and personal friend of Mr Te Whare, Anaru Rangiheuea, describes him as a man with a brilliant memory and mind, and says Te Arawa will be at a loss to replace him.

Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters says flags on Rotorua District Council's Civic Centre headquarters will be lowered to half mast in his memory on Wednesday, when Rawiri Te Whare's funeral is due to be held.