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Maori Party Acknowledges Rt. Hon David Lange

Maori Party Acknowledges Significant Contribution of
Former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon David Lange

14 August 2005

The Maori Party today acknowledges the momentous contribution Right Honourable David Lange gave to this country, and mourns the loss of a great leader.

“We were greatly saddened by the passing of former Prime Minister and distinguished stateman, David Lange” said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.

“David will be forever remembered for his impressive wit, his creative use of expression, and his absolutely formidable debating skills”.

“We remember the way in which he thrilled New Zealanders, and indeed a significant international audience, with his brilliant performance in winning the 1985 Oxford Union debate, arguing the proposition that ‘nuclear weapons are morally indefensible'” said Mrs Turia.

“Maori people and poor people will also remember especially that he and only one other, stood in the 1980s Labour Government, to try and stop what was happening during the Rogernomics regime, and ended up standing alone amongst those who could have made a change ” stated Mrs Turia.

“David had the courage and the commitment to challenge policies which had a huge impact on Maori and poor, and our collective memory will appreciate the stand he took at that time to protect those who predictably would be hurt”.

“He was always a leader of the people” stated Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party. “I remember in 1985 when we opened Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hoani Waititi (the first kura kaupapa Maori to be given official recognition in Aotearoa). I picked up the phone and it was David, telling me he would open the kura. And indeed he and one of our cherished kuia did exactly that”.

“Our aroha goes to his family at this time. The nation mourns the loss of an outstanding politician, but words can not convey the depth of sadness experienced by those who loved him best”.

Kei te rangatira, haere.

Haere ki te kainga tuturu mo te tangata. Haere ki te okioki, i te mohio, kua oti pae au mahi. Haere ki o tupuna, haere ki te atua nui i te rangi.

Kei te rangatira, moe mai, haere ra.

ENDS

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