Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Minister Jackson acknowledges passing of ‘great leader’

As Parliament resumes today, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has acknowledged the recent passing of a great orator and a dedicated servant to preserving mātauranga Māori, Dr Hōhepa (Joe) Mason QSO.

The Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pukeko and Ngāti Hokopū descendants who contributed diligently to Ngāti Awa’s raupatu claim and passage of Ngāti Awa claim settlement act in 2005 passed away recently, aged 87.

“I think it’s important to Mātua Joe’s whānau and Ngāti Awa that the Government acknowledges the loss of a great leader who passed away while the House was in recess,” Minister Jackson said.

“His more than 60 years of service and legacy to his iwi and wider community warrants this acknowledgment.”

During his early years, Joe was a respected teacher at many schools throughout the Mataatua rohe and played an influential role in developing many of the young leaders in Ngāti Awa. 

Joe was the first secretary of the Ngāti Awa Trust Board and would go on to be the chairman bringing strong leadership and direction to the Trust.

He held numerous other leadership roles including director of Mātaatua Fishing Company, director of Ngāti Awa Group Holdings, trustee member of Te Kāhui Kaumātua, chairman of the Kiwinui Trust as well as serving on the council of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, which earned him an honorary doctorate in 2013.

The Ngāti Awa leader’s service to his iwi and the wider community was recognised in 2008, when he was appointed a companion of the Queen’s Service Order in the New Year’s Honours list.

“Mātua Joe was a custodian of customary knowledge including hapū whakapapa, waiata history and traditional iwi knowledge. He is a huge loss for Ngāti Awa and Te Ao Māori,” the Minister said.

Latest Articles