Thursday, April 25, 2024

Marlborough mourns Rangitāne o Wairau leader

Marlborough has lost a brave and passionate iwi leader with the passing of Richard Bradley this week, Mayor John Leggett said today.

“Richard was a strong advocate for Rangitāne o Wairau and was chief negotiator in their Treaty of Waitangi settlement process,” said Mayor Leggett.

The Treaty of Waitangi Deed of Settlement included a Crown apology and cultural, financial and commercial redress, and was passed by Parliament under the Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Kuia, and Rangitāne o Wairau Claims Settlement Act 2014.

The longstanding Rangitāne claims against the Crown had their genesis in a petition from the Rangitāne Rūnanga to the Governor of New Zealand in 1861.

“Richard was instrumental in arranging the Waitangi Tribunal hearing for Rangitāne held at Grovetown in 2003,” the Mayor said.

“Following this he fostered the support of Marlborough District Council to assist with treaty settlements across Te Tauihu. This resulted in the formation of Kurahaupō ki te Waipounamu Trust, which Richard chaired.”

Kurahaupō brought together Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Kuia and Rangitāne for settlement purposes. 

“The work of the Kurahaupō Trust ultimately led to the completion of Treaty settlements across Te Tauihu.”

Mr Bradley was also Development Manager at Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau, a director of the Rangitāne commercial board and a member of the Māori Heritage Council at Heritage New Zealand.

“Richard led Rangitāne o Wairau during the period that Te Pokohiwi o Kupe was returned to the iwi, which then subsequently lead to the return of tūpuna to their home at Te Pokohiwi o Kupe,” said Mayor Leggett.

“Richard conducted himself with style and class. He had a wonderful sense of humour and used his people skills to great effect with everyone he worked with.” 

“Richard is a great loss to Marlborough and will be missed.”

“My sincere condolences to Richard’s whānau and to Rangitāne o Wairau,” he said.

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