18 Jul 2013

Ngatiwai leader and rugby player dies

7:56 pm on 18 July 2013

Ngatiwai kaumatua, conservationist, and top-flight rugby player Laly Haddon has died.

He died on Thursday morning surrounded by his family at his home in Pakiri north of Auckland - and had been ill for some time.

The chair of the iwi, Haydn Edmonds says Mr Haddon influenced the whanau, iwi and hapu - and made his mark in the tapestry of life.

Mr Haddon was a descendant of the Ngatiwai chief Te Kiri and held a number of important roles over his lifetime.

He was chair of the tribe's trust board, a Rodney district councillor, the recipient of a Queen's Service Medal for services to conservation, and created links between the Crown and tangata whenua for the management of Little Barrier island.

He was a founding member of the country's first marine reserve at Leigh in Northland.

Laly Hadden also played rugby for the New Zealand Maori team, Tomarata, Omaha, Rodney and North Auckland.

His body will be taken to Te Kiri Marae in Leigh on Friday and his funeral will be held there on Saturday morning.