“A tireless leader whose many life achievements include safeguarding New Zealand’s only indigenous language, we mourn the sad and sudden loss of a great son of Ngati Hine,” says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.
“Last year Erima called for Maori Language Week to be extended and called on us all to make it happen by speaking more te reo, more often and in more places. We should honour him by making this happen.”
Mr Henare – the Maori Language Commission chairman - passed away suddenly this week.
“The Ngati Hine proverb ‘Kokiri te manu i te ata, kokiri te manu i te po’ speaks of leaders who work tirelessly and is a perfect metaphor to describe Erima. Moe mai ra e te rangatira,” said Dame Susan.
“We extend our sincere condolences to Erima’s whanau and colleagues.”